Friday, September 26, 2008

Sometimes I fry things in order to kill them. [RECIPE]

Yes, these vegetables may show up at my house all fresh and new and healthy, but I don't think there are any official rules about don't bread them and fry them.

At least, I hope there's not because that is just what I did because SORRY but I can't think of a ton of things to do with eggplant other than grilling which I'm not doing unless some kind of meat is going on there.

Something about a grill full of just eggplant seems stupid to me.

So, when the farm share insisted on delivering yet another week's worth of eggplants I had to, again, turn to my handy Stalker Book and figure out what the fuck to do with them before they turned into purplish poo in my crisper. Sadly, Stalker Book didn't have any recipes that suited my taste for something that didn't need to be grilled. So I gave up and went back to the old standby: Joy of Cooking.

Perhaps Serving is too cool for frying or something because Joy had a great idea and wasn't afraid to say it: Eggplant Parmesan.

YES, please.

I'm not sure how I'd forgotten about this gem of a standby recipe, but after seeing it in the book, and then deciding I didn't care about the fatness for five minutes, the deal was done: Dinner Tonight = Eggplant Parmesan.

Of course, when it comes to dinner at our house, I have ulterior motives that drive my decision-making. Such as; how to get rid of as much farm share as possible. And that means we have no less than two farm share (or garden) items in our dinner at any time and we use the whole share of them.

So, if I have a 2 lb. sack of green beans or twelve tomatoes or a bunch of basil that could double as a push broom, we eat it all. No discussion. And then sometimes dinner gets scary because eating a whole plate full of chard can get dicey even if it's mixed with bacon. The last time we tried to get rid of a share of chard in one sitting our meal resembled some sort of food death march. Our teeth were tired after.


If you would like to live out your fried vegetable and farm share killing fantasies, please to enjoy the following run-down of this recipe I barely fucked with.

Eggplant Parmesan
Adapted from Joy of Cooking
My changes in bold
1 recipe of The Best Tomato Sauce Ever. Yep.
2 medium eggplants (or whatever size comes in the farm share)
1/3 c flour
2 eggs
1 1/4 breadcrumbs (fresh or not, I couldn't care)
1/4 cup + 1 T olive oil
2 t dried oregano
1/4 t fresh ground black pepper (fresh please, I do care about this)
1 1/2 c shredded mozzarella
2/3 c shredded Parmesan (or however much you grate because who measures this?)
2 t mixed dried Italian style herbs (you choose)

To make
Start the tomatoes roasting in the oven for the sauce . And don't try sneaking in some nasty store bought sauce if you have the stuff to make this. FOR SHAME.

Cut the eggplants into 1/2 thick rounds. No need to peel them if you don't want to. Which I don't because of my laziness. Whisk together the eggs and 1T olive oil. Mix together 1 T of salt with the flour. Dredge the eggplant slices in the flour mixture, then egg mixture, and finally the breadcrumbs. Set them on a rack for 30 minutes and contemplate the universe while taking your tomatoes out of the oven.

Finish making the sauce and LEAVE THE OVEN ON AT 420 THANK YOU.

Heat your olive oil in a skillet and fry your eggplant slices until they're golden on each side. You can put some salt and pepper on now, if you want. Don't bother measuring it because that is retarded and messes up clean utensils for no good reason.

Spoon some of the sauce you just made (right? you made it didn't you?) onto the bottom of a 9X9 baking dish or whatever size you have on hand. Then lay your eggplant slices on top of the sauce (you can overlap the slices if they don't fit) and cover the eggplant with the rest of the sauce.

Yes. It is indulgent.

Put the oregano and some pepper on top of all that and then all the cheese. Again, indulgent. You can now finish with the Italian herb mixture of your choice and I will not rub in the fact that I used my Sardinian mixture from Italy which I hoard with all my might because of its awesomeness.

Bake this mess until it's bubbly and browning, which is about 10 minutes.

Plate with a nice big spinach salad to make you feel better about eating so much cheese and fried stuff. Maybe put some fresh basil on top because you brought in a truckload from the garden.

Then, enjoy it up.


  1. yum. love eggplant parm. I tried to grow eggplants this year and I have these itty bitties on the plants. I could make a tiny eggplant parmesean for my chickens maybe. Although I'd have to use dairy free cheese and that is lame.

    Anyway, my favorite place to find recipes when you want to search by ingredient is food & If you click on advanced search you can enter up to two ingredients and then click on "mexican" and "healthy" or "fast" and "appetizer" or what have you. It is brilliant.

  2. YUM. The MiL made this last weekend, except she used a New York Times recipe. Damn, it's good. I have a few fairly small eggplants still in the garden, but I don't think they're big enough to bother frying.

    I do have, by the way, a very simple pasta sauce recipe from Marcella Hazan that calls for tomatoes, eggplant, a bit of hot pepper, and a lot of mozzarella. Is yummy.

  3. I know you didn't ask or anything - but here's what I do with eggplant - Roasted Ratatouille. It's so easy. Take all the veggies you would normally put in a ratatouille (I usually use 1-2 eggplant, a couple of tomatoes, 2-3 zucchini, an onion or two, and some garlic) chop them up into chunks (Around an inch? Anyone critical of my knife skills doesn't get invited back), toss them in olive oil with some salt and pepper, roast them at 450 until they're soft (20-30 minutes?) and serve with Parmesan and some slivered basil. Yum! I love this recipe because I don't have to measure anything, it doesn't really matter what veggies I use, it's doesn't dirty too many dishes, it's tasty as hell, and it reheats and freezes well. Another bonus is that if I get distracted and the vegetables get too soft, I can throw it in a pot with broth of some kind, attack it with the handy immersion blender, and end up with a tasty soup. That's my kind of recipe.

  4. Oh my god this makes me so hungry. Yum, yum, and again, yum.

  5. o yeah! bread them, fry them, dip them in things, they love it.
    this looks so yummy...can you ship some to maine? eggplant parm is my favorite! with french fries, of course! one fried veggie loves another!

  6. This is one of our favorite eggplant recipes. There's lots of cheese, so it makes it all okay...

  7. YUM. Looks/sounds delish. Been wanting to pass on great tomato-preserving ideas too so I'll combine that AND eggplant ideas (I'm like...a WIZARD).

    I've been chunking up my tomatoes, peeling a few garlic cloves, tossing with olive oil and basil and roasting at 425 until saucy/caramel-y. Then I put the result in a freezer bag and freeze it lying on its side.

    As for eggplant: there is a WONDERFUL sauce in which you cube the eggplant, saute it in olive oil with salt pepper and basil and then add grape tomatoes and saute until saucy. Then I puree it so my kids won't know what's in it. Delicious and evilly genius.

  8. That looks fantastic! I want to eat some now (and it's 8 in the morning).

    The last time I had eggplant in the house (a gift from a friend's garden), I considered eggplant parmesan, but I didn't feel like frying them up- it seemed too difficult.

    So instead I cubed them, tossed with olive oil and roasted them. Then I pureed them and mixed them into the ricotta cheese part of a lasagna. Which turned out to be way more effort than frying would have taken. But it was good too. I've got two growing in my garden and can't decide what I want to do with them now.

    And yes, people, make Finny's tomato sauce. It is easy and so tasty!

  9. YUMMY!!!! Yes the salad makes up for all the greasy cheese goodness!

  10. Mmmmm looks and sounds good! I haven't had eggplant parm in years!

    And from that last pic, it looks like someone's making pesto?

    I only wish Brett would also eat eggplant. Imagine frying up something like that for one person. It's too much mess!


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