First, you should watch this clip from Parks and Recreation.
Next, you should go make this Eggplant Parmesan. It takes a while but it is un.believe.able. So good. So tasty, in fact, that the only picture I snapped of it was an in process shot of me frying up the eggplant. It smells so good coming out of the oven that it never occurred to me to take a picture of the finished product. All I could think to do was get that eggplant parmesan in my belly.
adapted from Simply Recipes
1 large eggplant (ours was fresh from the CSA farm and a beautiful light purple)
28oz whole peeled tomatoes (I used 14oz canned and 1 giant fresh tomato right off the vine)
1 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. breadcrumbs
3 large eggs, beaten
2 packages fresh mozzarella cheese rounds, sliced
1 c. parmesan cheese, shredded
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves (I didn't measure these at all, just layered them in fresh from the plant in the back yard)
1 cup red wine
Slice the eggplants lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. I didn't peel mine because it was so fresh and tender, but you might want to if the peel is tough. Arrange one later in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly with sale. Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting, until all eggplant is in the colander. Wigh down the slices with some plates or a large bowl and let drain. Two hours is best, but I could only wait about 45 minutes because we were so hungry. This drains the eggplant of excess water that will get in the way when you fry it up.
While the eggplant is draining, prepare the sauce. Combine tomatoes, garlic and 1/3 c. olive oil in your food processor. Blend away. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into small saucepan and add wine. Simmer until you can't stand it and you just have to eat that sauce right away.
Transfer eggplant from colander to paper towels to remove excess water. Combine flour and breadcrumbs in wide shallow bowl. Pour beaten eggs into another wide shallow bowl. Heat about 1/2 inch of olive oil in a deep skillet. Dipper the eggplant first in the flour mix, then in the egg and fry in the oil until nice and golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In bottom of 10x15 in glass baking dish, spread about 1 cup sauce, top with 1/3 of the eggplant. Layer on half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with 1/3 parmesan and 1/2 the basil leaves. Repeat, using the remaining mozzarella and basil and half of the remaining parmesan. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and parmesan.
Bake until cheese has melted and top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest at room temperature for 10 minutes (important!) before serving.