Since I have been working so hard lately freezing tomatoes and all kinds of veggies, I wanted to make a meal where I could really taste the fruits of my labor, and I decided that meal would be Eggplant Parmesan. I know it’s not a summery meal–it’s kind of heavy with all the cheese–but a few days ago I was in the mood to make something from the tomatoes I had put up, plus I had a gorgeous eggplant that I needed to use.
I spent quite a bit of time making homemade tomato sauce, boiling pasta, breading and frying eggplant–it was really a beautiful dish in the end. And I served it with salad and garlic bread cheerfully to my husband who wouldn’t even take one bite. He reminded me that he has stated before that he doesn’t like eggplant. My forty year old brain forgot this little detail. Apparently, he feels about eggplant how I feel about raisins–that they come from the devil–so I wasn’t too upset.
Oopsie doodle! Wife fail.
So, I whipped him up some sloppy joes straight from the can, because I really know how to bring it to the I-screwed-up-but-here-let-me-fix-everything-right-quick department, and I ate my meal of eggplant parmesan. But I really felt like it need to be shared, so I gave the rest of it to my daughter and her husband. They ate it the next night and they liked it so much that my son-in-law actually messaged me with the ultimate compliment, “That eggplant stuff is fine!”
So if you like eggplant, you will like this. And if you don’t? Well, then you probably won’t. I followed this recipe from The Southern Living Ultimate Cookbook, but had to make some changes because I had some issues with some of the measurements.
A few notes:
-I love the sauce, especially using fire roasted tomatoes. To begin with, the sauce looked very, very watery. I was worried. But if you’ll look at the picture below, you’ll see the line where the sauce originally filled the skillet to. It reduced by well over half, so go ahead and add the full amount of water.
-I had plenty of sauce left for another meal. I will do Chicken Parmesan soon, so my husband can eat with me. By the way, the sauce is supposed to freeze well. We shall see.
-I wanted to serve this over spaghetti noodles , but I only had vermicelli. I so need to go grocery shopping soon.
-The original recipe (the one in the cookbook that I followed, not the online one) calls for two large eggplants. I am not sure how they fit all of that into an 11 x 7-inch dish, which is what the recipe called for. I had one large fresh eggplant and I had thawed out some that I had frozen. I fried it all up, but I could not fit it all in. The pan was very, very full. One eggplant should do ya.
-Place your pan on a baking sheet in case it bubbles over.
-DO NOT forget to salt the eggplant when you’re done frying. Talk about bland if you don’t! Blech!
-The dished above could really have benefited from a sprig of basil or parsley. Like I said, I need to go grocery shopping in the worst way.