Dinner at my house takes form in one of two ways:
1. Things in the fridge that need to be eaten. NOW!
2. Things that I purchased without much rhyme or reason because they were either on sale or I was hungry and they looked good to me.
This dish was created out of the necessity to move some items out of the fridge, fast. I had an eggplant given to me by a coworker, leftover mozzarella cheese from pizza night, too many tomatoes from the garden and an open box of vegetable stock. I looked at all of the items on my kitchen counter and immediately thought, eggplant parmesan.
Here’s the recipe that I half looked up and half made up. I decided to go grain-free on this one, so I used almond meal flour instead of breadcrumbs. It turned out super tasty, giving me bragging rights for the rest of the night. Don’t let the pictures fool you; I took them with my old idiot-proof Nikon that can make any food look like something out of a Wes Craven movie.
1 medium eggplant
1 cup + almond meal flour (you can use breadcrumbs if you’d like)
1 ½ to 2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
Grated parmesan cheese, use as much as you like. I used about ¼ cup or so.
Olive oil for frying
Quick tomato sauce
4 ripe tomatoes, chopped
3-4 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp olive oil
¼ – ½ cut basil, chopped
1 tsp oregano
1Tbls tomato paste
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of vegetable stock (totally optional. I had some that needed to be used, so I used it. I know adding stock makes it less Italian, and I’m okay with that)
Cut the eggplants into ½ inch thick slices. Salt both sides and place in a colander for half an hour so slices can release their water content.
Start on the tomato sauce. Heat olive oil in a pan. Add garlic and cook until quit fragrant, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add tomatoes. Cook until they’ve released their juices. Add stock if using, tomato paste, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and allow the ingredients get to know each other over a slow simmer. You want the sauce to become thick. Let it happily simmer away while you’re preparing the eggplant.
Mix almond flour, oregano, salt, pepper and parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl. Beat egg in a separate shallow bowl. Rinse off the resting eggplant to remove the salt. Coat the eggplant with the egg, then with the flour mixture. Heat olive oil in a pan. Once it’s hot, place the coated eggplant slices. Cook on each side until golden brown and crispy.
Preheat oven to 350.
Place the cooked eggplant in a baking dish in a single layer. Top with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and more parmesan. Bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Serve and enjoy.