Remember how I made a sourdough starter? Well, that bread up there ain’t it. That starter ended up down the garbage disposal. I’m sure I did something wrong, I just haven’t figured out what it is yet. But! All was not lost! That very same day, I also made a white bread sponge starter, which lived happily in our fridge until last night when I made two loaves of the most delicious bread ever to burst forth from our oven. I’ll be sure to write a little more about it when I feel like I have any idea what I’m doing and not like it was a tremendously lucky fluke.
Yesterday, we managed to get to the farm in time to get some fresh eggs. Hallelujah! I was starting to really get tired of the sad, pale little things from the supermarket. We also picked up two of the most beautiful eggplants I’ve ever seen. Young and ripe but pale green with subtle variations in color…amazing! I decided they would make excellent eggplant parmigiana, which, best of all, required no additional expenditures on ingredients since we already had everything we needed to make it. (Thank heavens, because we’re a little broke right now. For one of the reasons why, see the last photo of my last post.) I’m going to give you the barebones “recipe” I use here. It doesn’t have any quantities because it really depends on how many folks you’re feeding and how hungry they are. I’m sure you’ll be able to figure it out. It’s also not very fancy, so definitely experiment! Add spices to the breadcrumbs, whatever! Be creative!
Laura’s Very Basic Eggplant Parmigiana “Recipe”
herbs and spices of your liking (I like basil and oregano.)
tomato sauce (Use a good flavorful sauce. Now is not the time to go with plain sauce.)
pasta for serving
Slice the eggplants into approx. 1/2 inch thick slices. If they’re tough, crotchety old things, sprinkle them with salt to draw out the bitter juices, let them sit for a bit, then wipe off with a paper towel. (It’s a lot easier, and tastier, to just use fresh, young eggplants.) Let the eggplant slices rest for a few minutes while you put some flour in one small shallow bowl, some breadcrumbs in another, and an egg (or two) whisked together with a bit of olive oil in a third. Now we’re going to bread those suckers, assembly-line style! Dredge the eggplant in the flour, shaking off any excess, then dip in the egg mixture, then give them a breadcrumb bath. Put them on a plate ’til they’re all coated. Once they’re all breaded, heat some olive oil in a large skillet and cook the breaded eggplant slices on both sides over medium-high heat until golden. Remove to a paper towel-covered plate to drain. (I should mention that you need to pre-heat your oven to 425°.) Spray a casserole dish of some sort with non-stick spray and pour some of your delicious sauce into it. (The pan should be big enough to fit all of your eggplant slices without a huge amount of overlap.) Place the eggplant slices on the sauce. At this point, you can sprinkle them with herbs, cheese, whatever you like. Here’s what I do: I sprinkle them with a good amount of grated parmesan and some basil and oregano. Cover the whole thing with more of that delicious sauce. Then I put mozzarella (usually – last night we had provolone so that’s what I used) over the whole thing. Pop it into the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve over (or with) pasta. Mmm!