Eggplant Pomodoro (serves 2-4)
Spring is finally here! The days are mild enough to enjoy the outdoors and after the rainiest six weeks I’ve ever seen, the sun is out. I am thinking a lightly breaded and sautéed eggplant with a fresh tomato and basil sauce for dinner tonight. The recipe is deceptively simple — the ingredients must be very fresh and of the highest quality. Other than that, it requires some patience and the ability to know when to turn the eggplant or to stir the sauce. Let your nose and your instincts guide you. They are your best teachers. This dish will serve 2 as a full meal or 4 as an entree if accompanied by a small side of spaghetti or roasted asparagus. ~ Glyn and Will
1 lb. eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices (about 8 inches long)
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 cup panko
1/4 cup olive oil
2 lbs tomatoes, cut into wedges 1/2 cup shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
8 basil leaves (plus additional for garnish)
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 Quarter the tomatoes and chop the shallots and garlic.
2 Lightly salt the tomatoes.
3 Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil to medium in a large, deep skillet and add the tomatoes, garlic and shallot.
4 Reduce the heat to low. Cover the pan and let it cook very slowly for 30 minutes without stirring.
5 Chop the basil and add it to the tomatoes. Adjust the seasoning.
6 Return to the stove and keep hot.
7 Using either a food mill or a food processor, puree the tomato mixture.
8 Meanwhile, slice the eggplant, lay it on paper towels and sprinkle generously with the kosher salt.
9 Let the eggplant sit for 30 minutes.
10 Rinse the salt off but do not pat dry.
11 Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.
12 Heat the remaining oil to medium high.
13 Press the eggplant into the breadcrumbs to very lightly cover both sides.
14 In small batches saute the eggplant until cooked through and brown on both sides.
15 Drain on paper towels and keep warm on top of stove or in you have a double oven in a 170° oven.
16 Preheat the other oven to 425°
17 Spread 1/4 cup of the sauce in each of four individual casseroles.
18 Alternate layers of eggplant and sauce using all the eggplant. Top with any remaining sauce and a tbsp of breadcrumbs.
19 Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Serve at once.
Degree of Difficulty: Moderately difficult
Oven Temperature: 425°F
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Inactive Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Serving size: 1/4 of a recipe (15.4 ounces).
Gluten-Free, Main Dish, Vegan, Vegetables