As you can tell from previous posts, we watch what we eat in an avoid-processed-sugar-or-flour fashion... so we only eat whole wheat pasta. Obviously, this fact makes it tough to make lasagna with big, broad sheets of pasta - but we still love the steamy goodness of a big plate of sauce and cheese and filling pulled straight out of the oven and the wonderfully delicious leftovers that come as a reward for all the work. So what can we do for filling that is not pasta? Why, eggplant, of course!
To drain the bitterness out of the eggplant, we slice 2 big eggplants up (the round way, not lengthwise) and layer them in a colander with generous amounts of salt on each layer. We put that colander in a big glass bowl and cover the layers of eggplant with a sheet of plastic and another bowl that is heavily weighed down. Leave that in the fridge for a few hours and you'll see the liquid draining to the bottom, taking some of that bitterness with it.
Next step is to fry those eggplant slices up. We do an easy assembly line of rinse eggplant slice, pat dry, BARELY dust with wheat flour, egg wash, breadcrumbs, into a big pan with about 1/2" of canola oil.
Fry those bad boys up for about 3 min/side and set on a paper towel-lined plate.
At the same time, we made our sauce. See Our Meat Sauce entry - we make it basically the same as this for our "eggie parm."
Other ingredients - fresh basil and fresh and shredded mozzarella.
CONSTRUCTION TIME! 1/2 layer of sauce, spread about in a "pam" sprayed glass baking dish just to coat the bottom and prevent burning; layer fried eggplant; layer sauce; layer mozzarella and basil; layer fried eggplant; layer sauce; layer mozzarella and basil; layer fried eggplant; layer sauce; layer mozzarella and basil plus some shredded mozz and some grated parmesan on the top to round out the cheese. Sweet...
BAKE! We went 350 for about 40 minutes.. worked for us!
Score: Eggplant Parm.. 10! The big one-oh! 1000000!!! No bitterness, so tender, the eggplant. Fresh basil and mozz give a wonderful FRESH flavor... sausage in the sauce makes everything perfect.
Leftovers: 0! The disaster we alluded to from our last post - we left that whole big platter of de-bittered, fried eggplant, sauce, and baked goodness out OVERNIGHT... no leftovers for us, the remainder after dinner when in the garbage the next day. So, we shed a tear and move on...
What was, and could have been again: