- Lakeshore Red
This is an easy dish that pairs very well with a light fruit-forward red wine. Eggplant makes a great hearty base for a vegetarian main course.
- 1 Eggplant (about 1 Lb) peeled and sliced into ½ inch thick slices
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup flour
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 2 eggs beaten or ½ cup egg beaters
- 4 oz Mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup finely grated fresh Parmesan cheese *
- 8 cloves garlic, sliced thin
- ½ cup dry red wine
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
- 1 can (14 oz) tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1½ tablespoon capers
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- Olive oil
Sprinkle the sliced eggplant with the kosher salt, place in a colander, and allow to sit for 2 hours.
Begin the sauce by placing the garlic, the red pepper flakes, and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a deep skillet over med-high heat. Saute for several minutes until the garlic begins to darken and is aromatic. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine, tomato paste, capers, minced garlic, and thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer over med-low heat until the sauce is reduced to 3½ cups – thick, but not like paste. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Using paper towels, wipe off the salt from the eggplant slices and squeeze out the extra moisture by pressing between the paper towels using the palm of your hand. Put the flour on a plate and stir in the pepper. Put the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl. Put the Panko bread crumbs on another plate. Heat 3 Tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over med-hi heat until it simmers. Dip the eggplant into the flour-pepper mixture and shake off the excess. Coat with the egg and dip into the bread crumbs to coat evenly, shaking off the excess. Place in the hot skillet and fry until golden, turning once. Remove to a plate lined with a paper towel.
Put 1/3 of the sauce in a 9 X 9 baking dish, add half of the eggplant, half of the mozzarella, and half of the Parmesan cheese. Layer 1/3 of the sauce, remaining eggplant, sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese. Bake until the contents are bubbling and the cheese is browned, about 15 minutes. Remove and cool for 10 minutes.
Serves 3 or 4.
(*) The quality of the Parmesan cheese will directly affect the flavor of this dish. Use high quality, freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Avoid pre-packaged ground Parmesan cheese.