So, here’s some exciting news – next week I am teaching a vegetarian cooking class at our local college! It will be the first time I have taught anyone anything in a formal setting so I am excited slash nervous. Not only that – the class has sold out! No pressure, then…
I stopped eating meat about 27 years ago, which not only shows how old I am, but how long I have been preparing fresh, healthy meat-free meals.
Eggplant is one of my fav vegetables as it is incredibly versatile. It is great for cooler weather, as it lends itself to long, slow cooking. Eggplant absorbs flavours like a sponge and it is often the hero dish on restaurant’s vegetarian menus.
I have been unable to convince Misses 8 and 10 of eggplant’s merits, although they both adore babaganoush, so maybe we’ll get there in the end.
This eggplant parmigiana is such a delicious meal that is suitable for weeknight dinners or weekend lunches with friends. It is quite rich so I suggest serving it with a simple green salad. If you have any sauce leftover freeze it in a container – it is lovely with pasta or on a pizza base.
2 large eggplants, washed and sliced into coins
1 tin tomatoes
half jar passata
very decent splash of red wine – whatever you have open is fine
fresh basil leaves
Salt and pepper
Dried Italian herbs
Grated mozzarella cheese
LET’S GET TO IT:
In a large fry pan over a medium heat fry the eggplant in a generous amounts of oil until golden on both sides.
Place on paper towel-lined plate for ten minutes to absorb excess oil.
Meanwhile make sauce – fry onion and garlic in oil until lightly golden. Reduce heat then add in tomatoes, passata, red wine, salt and pepper and Italian herbs. Stir and allow to simmer for ten minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C.
Place a layer of sauce on the bottom of a Pyrex casserole dish, then top with a layer of eggplant. Tear up a basil leaf and place a piece on each slice of eggplant.
Sprinkle over cheese, then repeating the layering until all the eggplant is used. Finish with cheese.
Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling.