This is a no-fry version of eggplant parmigiano, prepared casserole-style. Former H&H food editor Jennifer Low created this recipe for a make-at-home version of the dish.
1-1/2 lb. eggplant (approx. 1 big eggplant), stem discarded, chopped into 1/2" dice (leave peel on)
3 plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (optional)*
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1-1/4 cups mozzarella, cut into 1/2" dice
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
1-1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp olive oil
* You can substitute 1 cup tomato sauce that contains chunks of tomato for the fresh tomatoes.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350°F.
Step 2: In bowl, mix eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and black pepper. Spread on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast for 25 minutes until eggplant has reduced in size and has a cooked appearance.
Step 3: Spread tomato sauce in bottom of 4 2-cup baking dishes for individual servings (or use 2 4-cup or one 8" square baking dish).
Step 4: In bowl, mix ricotta and egg until smooth. Stir in mozzarella, basil and salt and pepper. Scatter roasted eggplant over top of tomato sauce. Spoon dollops of ricotta mixture on top, smooth with back of spoon or fingers.
Step 5: Mix breadcrumbs and 1 tbsp olive oil, using back of spoon to blend well. Scatter over ricotta mixture.
Step 6: Bake immediately for 30 minutes or until bubbly at edges, hot in middle and breadcrumbs are golden. Or cover and chill overnight to bake next day at 350°F for about 40 minutes, or until hot.