I mentioned recently that I went on a trip to the beach in CA with two of my friends from college a few weeks ago. One of them is my friend Teri, and she was nice enough to fly into Phoenix and drive to LA with me so I'd only have to do one leg of the drive by myself. Isn't that awesome of her? It was so fun, too! A long boring drive like that sure goes by a lot faster with a fun friend in the car. She was telling me about a Martha Stewart Everyday Food cookbook that she has and loves, so once I was back home I put one on hold at the library. I don't think I got the same cookbook that Teri was telling me about, but this one has some great recipes in it. I think I'll hold it hostage for awhile, or at least as long as I can. I mentioned to my friend Jen how much I liked it, and she was talking about putting it on hold, so I'll assume if I can't renew it, it's because she's going to take it from me. ;)
Last week in my Bountiful Baskets produce co-op basket I got an egpplant. I was really excited because I love eggplant and have a lot of things I like to make with it, but I had seen a recipe in the Martha Stewart cookbook I wanted to try. It worked out perfectly, too, because last Sunday I made some tomato sauce for spaghetti and meatballs, so this way I could use up most of what was left of that sauce.
Eggplant and Mozzarella Melt
From Martha Stewart's Everyday Food
2 large eggs
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
Olive oil, for baking sheet
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
1 loaf (8 ounces) soft Italian bread
2 cups store-bought tomato sauce
8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
1.Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a shallow bowl, lightly beat eggs with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread breadcrumbs in a pie plate or shallow bowl.
2.Oil a rimmed baking sheet. Dip eggplant rounds in egg, then dredge in breadcrumbs, turning to coat completely; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake (without turning) until golden and tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, split bread lengthwise, and place cut side up on another baking sheet; press gently in centers to create a well. Layer both halves with tomato sauce, eggplant, and cheese. Bake until cheese is browned in spots, 6 to 8 minutes.
This came together really fast. I used panko for the breadcrumbs because I didn't feel like getting out my food processor to make breadcrumbs. I wouldn't recommend using panko, but it turned out okay. They just didn't cover the eggplant as thoroughly as regular breadcrumbs would have. But it worked. I ended up spreading a bit of sauce on top of the eggplant slices, too, when I assembled everything and then topped with cheese.
The husband was very excited when he saw this come out of the oven. He said it looked like eggplant parmesan pizza, which I guess it kind of was. I think my loaf of bread must have been bigger than eight ounces because the recipe said this was four servings, and those seemed really huge since that basically meant cutting each half into halves. Although the husband ate 1.5 servings, and the baby ate as much as I did! He and the boy split one serving, and then he ate half of mine! So I guess he ended up having an entire serving on his own. My kid can eat!
This was super fantastic and tasty and something I will definitely make again!
One side cheesed, the other awaiting its cheese:
Mmmmmm...eggplant and mozzarella melt...