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Baked Eggplant With Fresh Mozzarella

Posted by Peggy on October 13, 2010

Baked Eggplant with Fresh Mozzarella
Recipe: Baked Eggplant With Fresh Mozzarella

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized globe eggplant (approx. 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus additional if desired
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/4 pounds (6 large) fresh plum tomatoes, cored, halved and cut into 1/4-inch dices*
  • 8 ounce fresh mozzarella ball, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigianno Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup torn fresh basil

Instructions

  1. With a vegetable peeler, make stripes in eggplant then cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Lay on towel-lined pan or colander, sprinkle with kosher salt and let drain 30-45 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 425˚.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium to low heat. Add garlic, tomatoes, and a pinch of kosher salt, and simmer 15-20 minutes until tomatoes have collapsed and sauce has thickened. Remove from heat. Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. While sauce is simmering, dry eggplant and heat remaining oil to medium-high heat. Sauté eggplant 1-2 minutes on each side or until slightly limp and just beginning to brown, adding additional oil the pan becomes dry. (Do not overcook; eggplant will have additional baking time in oven.) Remove and drain on paper towels.
  5. Spray a shallow (approx. 6 inch X 10 inch) oven-proof dish with cooking oil spray. Spoon and spread 2 tablespoons tomato sauce on bottom of dish. Evenly spread eggplant slices on top of sauce, they may overlap slightly to fit. Spoon remaining sauce evenly over eggplant slices. Sprinkle Parmesan over eggplant and divide and place mozzarella slices on top of eggplant.
  6. Bake on center rack of oven until cheese has just melted, approx.15 minutes. Garnish with basil and serve.

* May substitute with 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, San Marzano preferred

Time: 40 minutes

Number of servings (yield): 4 side dishes (2 main servings with a side of pasta)

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