The other day I was inspired to come up with these eggplant stackers after seeing some ready-made in the freezer section of the grocery store. I like the way it sounded, but the thought of freezer section eggplant did not sound appealing. So I decided to make up this recipe last night for dinner... along with homemade pasta.
It was my first time to make pasta... on a Thursday night. right before a scout meeting... What was I thinking? It was one of those nights where a glass of wine with dinner was not really an option. It was a necessity.
Needless to say it turned out to be a hectic time in the kitchen, but the results were delicious. Maybe next time I'll save the homemade pasta experiments for a weekend. I think my husband would appreciate it so his wife is not in total melt down mode before dinner.
4 Tomatoes, large
3 Garlic Cloves
1 C Panko
1/2 C Flour
1 Eggplant, medium in size
1/2 C Pesto
1/2 C Mozzarella
1/4 C Parmesan
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel your eggplant and slice into 1/2 inch rounds. Salt each round generously. Place eggplant in colander in the sink for 30 minutes to allow it the "sweat"(this just ensures that the eggplant won't be tough).
While your eggplant is sweating, cut the tomatoes into quarters and toss them into an oven-safe bowl or casserole dish. Give the tomatoes a nice sprinkling of salt and stir in the garlic cloves. Then coat the mixture generously with olive oil. Roast them for 20 minutes. They should be soft and juicy, so it's easiest to simply mash them with 2 forks to make your sauce. Set aside.
Lower your oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Returning to your eggplant, rinse off all the salt and pat dry. Place flour, egg & bread crumbs in 3 separate shallow plates; Place wire rack on top of a cookie sheet. Take a round of eggplant, coat in flour then dip in egg until covered, and then drag through the bread crumbs until completely coated. Transfer to wire rack. Repeat for each round of eggplant and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
Put your bowl of tomato sauce into the oven during the last 5 minutes to reheat it. Once eggplant is cooked through, you are ready to make your stacks. Start with a little smear of the tomato sauce then top with an eggplant round. Add a layer of pesto topped with sprinkling of mozzarella cheese. Place another eggplant round, top with sauce, then sprinkle with parmesan & mozzarella cheeses. Place under the broiler for just a few minutes to help the cheese melt and just begin to brown.