Monday, March 9, 2009

Eggplant bake

simple eggplant bake with fresh mozzarella
I finally had some time to cook this weekend (ok, I probably should have been doing other things, but oh well...). I had quite a bit of fresh mozzarella left over from a pizza that I made on Friday, so I decided to pair it with eggplant. I've fallen back in love with eggplant (I'm not sure why I went a few years without buying any), and it's so perfect with mozz. This is incredibly simple and quick (which was good since I needed to be working).

Eggplant bake

1 medium to large eggplant, sliced into 1/2" slices
3 Tbsp olive oil, divided (or more, as needed)
1 onion, sliced thinly
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly or torn into small pieces

Spread eggplant slices out onto baking sheet, brush both sides with 2 Tbsp (or more) olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until tender (10-15 min). While eggplant is cooking, heat remainder of oil in large pan over medium heat and saute onions until tender. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt, and pepper, and simmer for 10 min. Spread thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish (I used 8.5 x 11"), then layer half of eggplant on top, followed by half of remaining sauce and half of cheese. Repeat layers again. Bake at 350 for 20 min. Turn on the broiler and broil for 2 min. Serves 4.

Yum. So simple and so delicious. I love fresh mozzarella, and it's one of the cheeses that never makes me queasy as long as I don't eat tons of it. Even though I ate a lot of leftover lasagna from the freezer last week, I was still excited about this. And I'm excited that it made more than I thought it would :)

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