My CSA has had delicious eggplants this summer, but you can’t make the same recipe each week! Here’s a delicous and easy variation to our usual recipes: Red, White and Blue-Black Eggplant is based on my favorite (but unfortunately out of print) vegetable cookbook “The Victory Garden Cookbook” by Marian Morash from the old Public TV Show of the same name.
Makes 8 servings
2 medium eggplants (about 1½ pounds total) 3-4 large tomatoes 2-3 cloves garlic, minced 2 - 3 large sweet yellow onions, sliced thinly ¼ tsp. ground black pepper ½ cup fresh Basil, slice thinly into strips 6-8 ounces fresh provolone or mozzarella ¼ cup Olive Oil
Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, creating long strips about ½ thick. Salt and drain for 30 minutes. I put them on clean kitchen towels, and press the water out at the end of the 30 minutes.
While the eggplants are draining, cut the onion into fine slices. Mince the garlic and sauté both in a small amount of the olive oil until lightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
Dry each eggplant slice with kitchen or paper towels to remove excess salt and moisture.
- Heat skillet over medium-high heat, and coat with olive oil. Fry each eggplant slice on both sides until just lightly browned. Eggplant will soak up the oil, so add a bit of oil as needed. Don’t worry, just have a coating in the pan each time you add fresh slices. Then they brown up nicely.
- Slice the tomatoes in half and slice again to resemble half-moons if they are too tall. Slice the cheese in the same way. You want them all about the same height, so if you have smaller tomatoes, they may work better in circles. Use your best judgement.
- In a 9 x 13 pan, spread half of the cooked onion and half of the sliced basil.
- Begin with the eggplant and stand up the slices at the narrow end of the casserole, then add sliced cheese and the tomatoes. Keep layering until you’ve used up all your eggplant.
- Top the casserole with the remaining cooked onions and sliced basil, spreading evenly. Drizzle with any remaining olive oil. Top with some freshly ground black pepper.
- Cover the casserole with aluminum foil, and bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.