Monday, July 18, 2011
Last week, I was sick of making chicken for dinner. I had also just gotten off the phone with my parents who had just returned from their 30th Anniversary trip to Italy. My mom had been describing the lovely dishes that they had the pleasure of eating while on their trip, and that had me craving something hearty and Italian. The result of my Italian cravings and my wish to have something other than chicken was this Eggplant Parmesan with Roasted Tomato Sauce. I also substituted regular pasta with zucchini, based on something I had seen on Tasty Kitchen (a great gluten-free substitute by the way, though the rest of the dish wasn't). The result was fantastic. The combination was light and full of flavour. The eggplant was divine, the zucchini was a great substitute for pasta, and the roasted tomato sauce was delicious. N loved the eggplant so much that he picked another one up at the grocery store the next day. He said that he had forgotten how much he liked eggplant. We will definitely be making this yummy dinner again soon!
Eggplant Parmesan with Roasted Tomato Sauce and Zucchini "Pasta"
1 large eggplant
1 cup cornstarch
1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
3-6 tablespoons olive oil
2 zucchini (serves 2)
For the Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce:
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, whole
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Slice the eggplant into 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick slices. Cover a baking sheet with paper towels. Lay the sliced eggplant on the paper towels and sprinkle both sides of the eggplant with salt. Cover the eggplant and let it rest for 30 minutes. This prevents the eggplant from being slimy and bitter.
Preheat the oven to 375°F, prepare the tomatoes, and start to boil a pot of water for the zucchini (as if you were going to boil pasta) when the eggplant has been sitting for about 15 minutes. To prepare the tomato sauce, cut the cherry tomatoes in half and mix with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper. Place the tomatoes in a glass baking dish in a single layer (I used my glass pie dish) along with the vinaigrette and the garlic cloves. Roast the tomatoes for 40 minutes. They will start to burst and caramelize when they are done. While the tomatoes roast, slice the zucchini with a vegetable peeler lengthwise in wide strips. Flip the zucchini over and slice the other side. Don't slice through the middle as the seeds will make the strips fall apart when they cook. Set the zucchini slices aside.
After the eggplant has rested, set up three stations to batter the eggplant: a plate of cornstarch, a bowl of egg lightly beaten, and a plate of Italian breadcrumbs. Coat the eggplant slices on both sides with cornstarch, then egg, and then breadcrumbs.
In a medium-large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the eggplant in the heated oil for 4 minutes per side or until the crumbs are browned. Add more olive oil if necessary.
Add the zucchini to the boiling water. Cook for four minutes. Drain the zucchini. Serve the zucchini with the eggplant slices and roasted tomato sauce. Shave Parmesan cheese over the dish.
(Zucchini pasta from A Sweet Pea Chef via Tasty Kitchen).