"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Simple Eggplant Parmesan: Foodie Friday

Yum

eggplant parmesan
Eggplant Parmesan

When I started dating my very WASPy husband I knew he came from a different culture then I did... but I wasn’t totally unfamiliar with he and his friend’s preppy ways...I am from Connecticut. 

But I really was taken back when we were invited to a picnic and I brought eggplant parmesan. Everyone was floored. “You made this... you didn’t buy it in a gourmet shop?” 


Of course I made it... my family always makes eggplant parmesan for picnics. It can be served hot or cold...sit outside for hours and not spoil, and it makes great sandwiches or a nice side dish.


But this dish was truly exotic at this picnic of chips and dip, deli platters and of course... in the WASP tradition plenty of alcohol. 
Even though I felt a little uncomfortable over the fuss that was made by me actually cooking for a picnic... the dish was really appreciated by everyone and it did break the ice for me...

Simple Eggplant Parmesan 
by Diane Balch

Note: I used to spend an eternity frying each piece of eggplant. They alway soaked up too much oil, even when I soaked them in salt and water beforehand.
Baking the eggplant is faster and healthier because a little bit of olive oil is good but too much is high in calories.
Prep: 30 min Serves: 6

Ingredients:
spray olive oil
2 longish medium eggplants peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoon or more of salt.
Pepper
approximately 3 cups of Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs (Aleia's gluten-free Italian Bread Crumbs)
8 oz of Shredded Mozzarella (reg or low-fat)
1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese grated
11/2 jars of Marinara sauce

Directions:
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees middle and lower middle racks.
2) Beat eggs with salt and pepper. 
3) Generously spray 2 cookie sheets with olive oil
4) Peel and cut eggplant
5) Put a little at a time bread crumbs in a large dish
6) Dip eggplant pieces in egg... drip off excess. Then coat with bread crumb and put directly on to the cookie sheets.
7) When both of your sheets are full with eggplant bake for 15 minutes or until the underside of pieces are brown, then flip over and bake for 15 minutes on opposite side. 
8) While eggplant is baking coat the bottom of a 9 x 13 inch lasagna pan with tomato sauce.
9) When eggplant is browned remove the sheets from the oven and turn up the temperature to 425 degrees.  
10) Place the eggplant pieces closely together in the lasagna pan and then generously cover them with sauce. Repeat for the next layer. Top the eggplant with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
11) Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the cheese becomes golden brown.
12) Let sit 5 - 10 minutes before serving with rustic rolls and a green salad.
copyright 2012

peel

chop 1/2 inch rounds

egg then bread

sauce bottom then lay out tightly

bake until golden brown
 eggplantpicnic foodItalian recipes,eggplant parmesan  http://verygoodrecipes.com/italia




Spotlight Recipes from Last Week's Party:

From: Prudent Living


I try to eat seasonally and berries are in full bloom. This recipe bursts with Spring flavor and freshness.

From: Dishes and Dishes


I just used this Mediterranean grain for the first time. It is really delicious and incredible healthy.

From: Mo' Betta


We had some really amazing desserts this week, but this cookie stood out for it's interesting flavor combinations. 


Instructions for Foodie Friday linky:

SUBSCRIBE TO THIS BLOG BY EMAIL OR RSS... or FRIEND ME ON FACEBOOK

1) Copy the Foodie Friday Button's html from this website's sidebar.

2) Paste this html to the html page of the recipe you want to link to Foodie Friday. You can also make a word link or post our button on your sidebar. Please link back.
3) Copy the link to the recipes you want to add to Foodie Friday, not your homepage. You can post up to 3 recipes that you have not shared before.

4) Click on "your next" on this page.

5) Past your link and type in the name of the recipe, not your name.

6) Choose how you want to download the photo.
Related articles




Enhanced by Zemanta

62 comments:

  1. Hi Diane,

    Thanks for hosting! I can imagine the strange looks when you took this to a picnic! I don't always take "traditional" food to picnics either ... mostly for fear there will be 10 other cold salads, chips, meat and cheese tray, finger sandwiches ... you name it! I haven't had Eggplant Parmesan in quite awhile and yours looks tasty and easy! I'm with you on the baking versus frying! I hope you have a great weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It definitely stood out... I just started baking it and it is really a lighter nicer dish. The oil made it heavy. Thanks for stopping by... happy June.

      Delete
  2. Happy Weekend Diane! Weekends have totally different connotations for now with the kids out of school and lack of structure, they're not quite as relaxing as they used to be! I stopped by to share a coconut butter post:
    http://www.tessadomesticdiva.com/2012/05/coconut-butter-101-how-to-make-it-and-how-to-use-it.html
    and a healthy treat: Sunbutter Blondies: http://www.tessadomesticdiva.com/2012/05/peanut-butter-blondies-gluten-free-vegan.html

    Thank you for hosting and letting us all share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always appreciate your healthy recipes... good luck adjusting to the change in schedule. We have several weeks of school left.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the feature! I'm hungry after looking at all these recipes....and I JUST ate breakfast!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the same problem. I'm like a salivating dog.

      Delete
  4. Diane, My husband loves eggplant parm - I have never made it but will now... thanks for hosting and sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When you bake it.. it's not hard. My husband said it was his favor dish this week.

      Delete
  5. That eggplant parm looks delish! I too have only made it baked, as frying is just too much. And it actually tastes much better, in my opinion! Thanks for hosting another great week! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Baking is definitely tastier though when I told my Italian mother, of course she disagreed.

      Delete
  6. Saw you foodie blog hop listed at the Newlyweds and came to join in the fun! Nice to meet you!

    This looks perfect! I love eggplant Parmesan: skinny, full fat, simple or the tedious traditional way. I'll eat it!

    I also host a foodie blog hop called Friday Food Fight. I would love for you to link up and share your eggplant recipe. Hope to see you in the ring!

    http://deniseisrundmt.com/2012/06/01/black-beans-and-rice/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will jump right over there... and add you to my food party list.

      Delete
  7. As one of your husband's so-called "preppy friends" -- okay, guilty as charged on that one, I suppose -- I would just like to say:

    1) We actually do make Eggplant Parmesan, even (or especially) living in the backwaters of Eastern Europe;
    2) I love this recipe, because I hate being the fry cook! Thanks!

    Tom

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh, Prep alert. You were not at this picnic and having lived in so many place you are not a classically food sheltered WASP. Glad you like the recipe.

      Delete
  8. Diane,
    I love eggplant parm and love that you baked it. nice step by step too.
    I linked a post for frozen water melon smoothies and gf appetizers. Thanks for hosting.

    ReplyDelete
  9. That looks delicious. I've always been too chicken to try eggplant parm. But you make it look easy. No more excuses!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really is easy when you don't fry it.

      Delete
  10. I love any dish with eggplant....but my children won't touch it. Thank goodness hubby will eat it too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was surprised my kids loved it. I think because it was covered in tomato sauce and cheese.

      Delete
  11. Thanks so much for hosting and the invite!! Have a great weekend!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love eggplant parm - I will definitely be trying this one!

    Thanks for the invite!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This looks delicious! And like others have said, you make it look so simple. No excuses not to try it now.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I always find the most amazing recipes here. Thanks for hosting and inviting me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you what a wonderful compliment. I try very hard to invite people who have healthy and tasty recipes.

      Delete
  15. I think baking is the way to go.
    Thanks for hosting! Happy weekend to you!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh my deliciousness! The eggplant parm looks divine and everyones links are leaving my mouth watering! Have a fabulous weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Diane! Thanks for inviting me to participate in your link up. What a great blog you have! ....adding you to my bloglovin....almost... there! Added! :)
    Good morning/afternoon - what a late linker I am today!

    For this week’s link up I’ve decided to submit my contribution to the Secret Recipe Club – are you a participant? My contribution: Pan seared duck breast salad with fruit and toasted walnuts. Cooking times may vary depending on the size of your breasts. Mine took a while… Story of my life.

    Oh yeah – and i’ve included a second link this week too for our CSA Week #13. We got a wowza Spring of a box! …and I need help. I’m on pause! PAUSE!

    Thank you for hosting!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you like the blog... I hope you become a regular contributor. I am not in the Secret Recipe club it looks very cool, but I am already committed to French Fridays with Dorie.

      Delete
  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hello Diane. How are you? Thanks so much for hosting.

    Anne @ Domesblissity xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good Anne... always glad to see you've stopped by.

      Delete
  20. Thank you for hosting the party and inviting me over :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thank you for hosting. There are so many wonderful recipes on here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I plan on spending the morning salivating.

      Delete
  22. Happy following you too....happy hosting

    ReplyDelete
  23. Diane, Thanks for hosting another fabulous party! Have a wonderful week:)

    ReplyDelete
  24. I haven't had many dishes with eggplant, but the ones I remember I really enjoyed. This looks scrumptious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trust me it is delicious. Eggplant can take on an almost meat like quality kinda the way mushrooms do.

      Delete
  25. Eggplant Parmesan is my favorite! This recipe looks easier than mine but just as tasty! I'll have to give it a try because I'm always looking for making it simple! Hope you're having a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was very attached to the old way of frying each piece...but I can't tell you how great this turned out. My husband keeps asking it I'll make it again next week.

      Delete
  26. Oh, Diane, I had to laugh at this. It's lucky your BF/husband wasn't from Iowa. If you would have shown up at an Iowa picnic with Eggplant Parm, you'd have been sent packing - back to where you'd come from! Iowans (back then) were not very tolerant regarding food. Corn relish. Jello salad (a little melted was still okay), fried chicken, potato salad, blah, blah, blah. Don't stray from the usual. Waspy is good........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I went to a barbecue in Kansas. My maiden name is Papa. Everyone couldn't stop talking about what a funny I-talian name I had. I hear you, at least I was on the East Coast were there are more of us Mediterranean types.

      Delete
  27. Hey! Would you like to link this up at my Meatless Monday hop??? It would be a hit!

    http://jessica-healthymommyhealthybaby.blogspot.com/2012/06/meatless-monday-vinegret-beet-salad.html

    ReplyDelete
  28. I've never thought about making it for a picnic! Excellent idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really holds up well outside all day.

      Delete
  29. Diane, another amazing Foodie Friday event. Thanks for hosting it. I enjoy looking at all these delicious food week after week.
    Hoep you're having a great week ahead,dear.
    Kristy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you made it I was worried you didn't have time for us this week.

      Delete
  30. I love you version of Eggplant Parm, and the fact that you made it for a picnic! Thanks for linking up to Southern Sundays! Hope to see you again soon!

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi Diane... i love eggplant parmesan! Do you know we - Italians - usually prepare it for lunch, during week ends, when spending an entire day out on the seaside?? Can you imagine the very hot summer temperature while eating on the beach?? Yes I know it's weird but you just have to try it ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gioia, if you traditionally eat it at the beach it makes sense as to why my family always prepared it for picnics. I think it holds up very well in the heat... Gioia I have to ask... how did you happen to find my blog?

      Delete
    2. Diane I found you on a comment to my recipe http://incucinacongioia.blogspot.it/2012/05/involtini-di-maccheroni.html
      partecipating at the Family Challenge Contest organized by Very Good Recipe... that's how I found your blog! :-)

      Delete
  32. Oh my, eggplant parmasan is real comfort food, this looks so good! Thank you for sharing it on Hearth & Soul Hop. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I doubt that I ever would have thought to take this to a picnic or outdoor summer party, but it's truly brilliant. I am definitely pinning this - thanks for sharing at our party this week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you see the comment from Gioia the Italian woman... they take eggplant parmesan to the beach in Italy. Try it at a picnic it really holds up well in heat.

      Delete
  34. I adore eggplant parmesan; it is one of my absolute favourites. Your recipe sounds really delicious, and very wholesome too!

    ReplyDelete
  35. Diane,
    This looks amazing! I love "Parmesan" dishes and I bet this would also be great with a zucchini-yellow squash mix as a side dish. YUM!
    Thanks so much for stopping by Creative Thursday last week. I couldn’t do these parties without you. Can’t wait to see what you link up this week. Have a great week.
    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  36. Looks delish!! Thanks for a great recipe!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so welcome... I love how healthy and time saving baking the eggplant is...

      Delete