With the arrival of our first food co-op order I’ve had to get creative with veggies, especially for The Husband. One particular item he has been vocal about hating is eggplant. If you remember from earlier pictures, we got LOTS of eggplants. I am proud to say I found something that he not only ate, he actually liked enough to have seconds. Score one for me!
I started on Foodily.com which I highly recommend for anyone who needs recipe advice. It’s a great site with access to seemingly billions of recipes. Just type in what you have (ie:eggplant and zuccini) and you’ll get at least one idea. There is nothing they can’t figure out.
As always, I changed the recipe more than slightly, (most noticeably with the sauce) but I thank Foodily for the bones.
Here’s what you’ll need:
Eggplant 1large or 2 small
Tomatoes (I used three but then I love them so you might want one large)
1 1/2 cups of Shredded Mozzarella
1 1/2 cups of Shredded Parmesan
Garlic Cloves (I used four but see above tomato comment)
About 2 cups of breadcrumbs (to taste)
Tomato Sauce (marinara style so it’s somewhat thick)
Large Pyrex Pan
Here’s What You Do
- Cut all veggies into thin slices
- Chop Garlic into very small pieces or use a press to get desired size
- Cut basil leaves into thin strips
- Drizzle Olive Oil in bottom of pan
- Place a layer of zuccini on top of olive oil leaving a bit of room around the outside of pan
- Drizzle a very little bit of olive oil on zuccini (I used a spray bottle to coat veggies in mist of OO)
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top of zuccini
- Sprinkle very light Mozzarella and Parmesan on top of breadcrumbs
- Add pinch of garlic and basil to cheese
- Layer Zuccini
- Spray with Olive Oil
- Sprinkle Salt
- Layer Tomatoes (Notice there is not cheese in between zuccini and tomatoes)
- Then repeat cheese and garlic/basil steps on top of tomatoes
- Start again with zuccini and add one or two more layers, however much your pan allows
- Finish with just a smidge of mozzarella and mostly parmesan-makes for a better finish
- Finally, (here’s the trick) pour the sauce around the outside of the pan and slide the veggies a bit so it goes underneath
- DO NOT cover veggies with sauce
- Then cover with aluminum foil and cook at 350 for about 35 minutes.
- Uncover and cook for five minutes more until cheese is crispy golden brown
- Serve with leftover sauce in a bowl for those who like more.
The Key to this meal being a success, I think, was the sauce on the side and the light cheese. It was just enough sauce and cheese to get crispy and add flavor but not so much that it drowned the vegetables into a soggy mess. The Husband just kept exclaiming, “I can’t believe I like it. I mean, it’s just perfectly cooked.” Which I swear was the truth, not just his attempt at kissing butt. He even had some as leftovers the next day which is unheard of! He doesn’t do leftovers.