I have WAY too many eggplants growing at the moment, so needed to have a dish like this in my repertoire to use them all up. The eggplant absorbs the garlicky tomato sauce and is simply perfect with melted cheese on top.
Eggplant parmigiana can be eaten scooped from the dish, or piled onto toasted slices of crusty bread for a real treat.
I am growing the thinner style Lebanese eggplants, but this would work just as well for the egg shaped eggplants too.
Note: I don’t salt eggplants as I always use them fresh picked and fairly young, so there are no issues with bitter seeds.
2kg Eggplant (This is a guess – see steps for info on how to judge quantity)
1 cup Olive Oil (for brushing onto the eggplant slices before grilling)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil (for sauteing the garlic)
4 cloves Garlic
4 cups Tomato Puree (fresh or bottled passata)
1 handful Oregano stems + leaves (I snip coplete stems and tie them into knots for a rustic style bouquet garni)
1 handful Basil leaves
1 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Grated tasty cheese
Select a baking tray that is about 20% bigger than the baking dish that you will be using for the complete eggplant parmigiana.
By placing the sliced eggplant on here to grill, you will end up with the right amount for one layer in your dish (as the eggplant shrinks)
Using the grill element in your oven, preheat to around 200 degrees centigrade.
Slice the eggplant right before you are about to cook them, otherwise they go brown.
Slices should be about half a centimetre thick.
Arrange on to the baking tray (not dish!) and brush with olive oil.
Place under the grill for around 8 minutes or until they are browned.
No need to turn them.
Once done transfer to the baking dish and arrange the slices in a single layer so that they are squashed close together.
Finely chop the garlic and saute in olive oil until translucent, then tip in the tomato puree.
Add oregano stems (I tie them into a knot) to flavour the sauce.
Allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until quite thick.
Meanwhile, grill another tray of eggplant slices following the same directions as step 2.
Once they are grilled switch your oven from Grill to Fan Bake and set the temperature at 150 degrees C.
Spread a few spoons of the tomato sauce over the first layer of eggplants. Use a third of the sauce for this.
Add another layer of eggplant slices, try to get them close together.
Then add the rest of the tomato sauce, scatter torn basil leaves across the top then add the tasty and parmesan cheese (mixed together).
Bake for around 20 minutes, or until the top is golden.
Serve with a green salad and slices of bread.