So off I went to the Farmer's Market despite the on and off again rain. I didn't know what to look for when picking one out so I went to the stand who looked like they had the nicest person working to help me. I found a beauty and brought it home. When I arrived and mentioned what I was making for dinner, I saw the most surprised face...he was happy (and maybe skeptical)!
Here's the beauty I put in my market bag...
I don't have a real recipe as I was kinda making it up as I went along after googling a couple sites. First slice the eggplant into 1/2" slices, sprinkle with salt and lay out on paper towels, top with another towel and lay a heavy object on top for 90 minutes. This will help get out some of the moisture. Next flour the eggplant, place in egg mixture and then seasoned bread crumbs.
Heat about 1/2" of oil (I used vegetable) in a large skillet over med-high heat. One site I went to said heat the oil to 285 degrees. I followed that advice - if you put the eggplant in the oil before it is hot, it will just soak up the oil and not get crispy. If you don't have a thermometer, test some crumbs and make sure they start frying and do a happy dance! Mine took about 3 minutes on each side to brown up - do in small batches and set on paper towels to drain.
Next up is the layering. I used a 3 quart oval baking dish. On the bottom place 1/2 cup of sauce (I did not make my own sauce - you could, but I used a marina sauce from Bertolli). Place eggplant in a single layer, top with more sauce on each eggplant- you don't want to just pour in all over. Sprinkle 3 T of parmesan cheese over that and then about 1/2 cup mozzarella, ending with a few torn fresh basil leaves. Repeat layers ending with just parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes or until light brown on top - let sit 10 minutes before serving. I also made a side a spaghetti.
Now the best part - eating! It was a beautiful night so I grabbed a bottle of red, set the table, had some music playing and out we went....so you might think awwww how nice.... unfortunately bees started coming around and we had to come back in. Oh well, maybe I should add a screened-in porch on my honey-do list!!
I'm happy to say The Fisherman loved his meal!!
Today the girls are coming for the birthdays...yep - his was yesterday and mine is tomorrow!