It’s kind of a take on Eggplant Parmigiana, only without the commitment. Because this thing? Pair it with salad and some nice bread, and it’s dinner. Cook up a whole mess of them, and it’s a party tray. I like to pour some marinara on top and sprinkle with parmesan cheese, or if you’re serving it at a party, just a bowl of marinara for dipping. Serve it with the marinara in a cup on the side for dipping, and I almost guarantee your kids will eat it, too.
And it can be as involved as you want it to be. Want to make your own marinara? Go on with your bad self. Want to use a good jarred sauce instead? Do it!
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I like the Italian version. If you use this, you won’t need any spices. If you use plain, add in a 1/2 tsp each of garlic powder, basil, onion powder and oregano)
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the kind you use on pizza)
2 eggs, beaten
1 large eggplant, or two small ones
Preheat the oven to 350. Spray two cookie sheets with olive oil spray (or Pam). Slice your eggplant into 1/4 inch slices (peel it if you want, or not), and then dip into the egg mixture, and then the breadcrumb mixture, lightly breading the eggplant. Place each piece on the cookie sheets, and then spray the tops too with olive oil. Cook for 15 minutes, then turn over, and let cook for another 10 minutes.
Take out, and serve with marinara.
Marinara recipe needed? OK, twist my arm.
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cups diced onion
2 diced cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 32 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes
1 TBSP dried basil
1 tsp oregano
2 dried bay leaves
In a casserole pan or dutch oven, heat the oil to medium heat, and sauté the onion and garlic, but make sure the garlic doesn’t turn brown. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes. Add your spices, except the bay leaf, and then stir in the tomatoes. Then add the bay leaf. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens, or about an hour. Stir it occasionally. Remove from heat when done, and take out the bay leaves. Serve, or chill and serve the next day. Or freeze and serve next week. Or cryogenically freeze it and eat it next year. If you’re trying to sneak vegetables into your kids diets, finely grate 2 carrots and add them to the sauté mixture.