There are two secrets to perfect egglant parmesan:

  1. peeling
  2. sweating

The skin of an eggplant is quite bitter and can ruin the whole dish.  Be sure to take a few extra minutes to peel your eggplant before slicing it.

Eggplant is packed with water.  To make it fry up crisp, you want to draw some of the water out.  To do that, you want to “sweat” the eggplant.  That means you will slice it and salt each side, very generously.  After just a few minutes, you will notice beads of “sweat” on the slices.  That is the moisture being drawn out.  After about 30 minutes, rinse the slices with water, pat dry, and they’re ready to get dressed for the frying pan!

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Nothing quite makes my mouth water like freshly fried eggplant. Especially when there is a pot of homemade marinara close by.

Eggplant Parmesan {+Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce}

Ingredients

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3 roasted red peppers, peeled, seeded and chopped (you can used jarred, or make at home)
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes and juices
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped italian parsley
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Sugar, to taste

Eggplant:

  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • Oliv oil, for greasing dish (I use myMisto)
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2  tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4-pounds), cut into round slices (it’s your preference how thick you want to slice them, my husband likes them really thin) and sweated
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
  • 12 ounces grated mozzarella, plus1/2 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 12 ounces grated fontina
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • Fresh basil leaves, torn

For the Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce:

Directions

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until soft.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute.  Add the red peppers and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Emulsify with a hand blender and process until smooth.  Add the parsley, basil and oregano and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes longer and season with sugar to cut the acidity.

For the Eggplant:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly spray the bottom and sides of a 15 by 10 by 2-inch baking dishwith olive oil and set aside.

Place the bread crumbs into a large shallow bowl.  Add the herbs, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together.

Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture.  Shake off any excess breading and transfer the egg plant to a baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Heat 1/2-inch of oil in a large straight-sided saute pans over medium heat .  Working in small batches, fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch.  Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with some of the tomato sauce and arrange 1/2 of the eggplant over the sauce.  Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce, grated mozzarella, fontina, Romano cheese and fresh basil.  Repeat to make 3 layers ending with the sauce. Bake for 20 minutes, until sauce is bubbling. Top with the fresh mozzarella and remaining Romano and bake another 10 minutes, until hot and just beginning to brown. Let rest 10 minutes before serving, slice and serve!

Check out more #SoulWarming dishes from the #SundaySupper community below:

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I’m really loving cooking vegetarian on Mondays.  The challenge of eating meat-free one day a week, has me researching tasty entrees I probably wouldn’t try usually.  This tortellini dish literally blew us away.  I had my vegetarian friend over for dinner and she was also impressed.

I must say, the Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil really made this dish.  It melded beautifully with the sharp bite of fresh garlic, the herbed pasta and the creamy goat cheese.  This recipe should probably serve four, but Jim and I ate 3/4 of it between the two of us. The only thing that would have made it any better, would be a fresh loaf of french bread to sop up the delicious sauce left at the bottom of the bowl.

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Isn’t that olive oil beautiful?

Fresh Tortellini with Asparagus, Peas & Parsley

printable recipe

  • salt
  • 1/3 cup Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1 lb. fresh cheese tortellini (I used herbed cheese from the Farmer’s Market)
  • 1 lb. thin asparagus, trimmed of tough, woody stems, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces (leave the tips whole)
  • 1 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian Parsley
  • 2 oz. fresh goat cheese, softened
  • black pepper
  • parmesan cheese, grated

In a covered pot, bring well-salted water to a boil over high heat. In a large pasta serving bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook the tortellini, asparagus, and peas in the boiling water until the tortellini is al dente, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and vegetables and toss with the garlic-oil mixture. Add the pine nuts, mint, and goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts into a sauce, adding cooking water as needed to moisten the pasta. Season to taste with salt, pepper and parmesan and serve.

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This bowl was not full for long.

I made this yesterday for the girls in the office today.  As usual, I tasted a spoonful, to make sure it came out okay.  Oh my goodness.  I had to immediately pack up the salad and stow it in the fridge so I couldn’t have a second, third and fourth bite.  I know this will be a hit for today’s lunch and I will definitely be doubling the batch the next time I make it!

I’m serving it with a Roasted Butternut Squash Soup.  A healthy menu to kick off fall!

Roasted Broccoli and Farro Salad with Feta

printable version

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup farro
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lb. broccoli
  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. In a saucepan, bring salted water to a boil over high heat. Bring the farro to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat, cover and let sit about 10 minutes.  Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, remove the broccoli crown from the stem and cut into bitesize florets. Toss the stems or use them in a chicken or vegetable broth. In a baking dish, toss the florets with 2 Tbs. of olive oil. Roast until tender and browned in spots, about one hour. Add the broccoli, feta, scallions, red pepper flakes, and parsley to the farro. Sprinkle with the vinegar and 1 tsp. salt and toss. Drizzle with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and toss. Season to taste with more vinegar and salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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You won’t miss the meat!

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