Monday, August 13, 2012

Fire-Roasted Tomatoes and Eggplant

Tonight was one of those nights where I came home starving and ready to be creative. I had a handful of vegetables, proteins and grains to choose from to whip up a tasty and filling meal. This recipe is the result of needing to find a use for several soon-to-go-bad plum tomatoes and a whopping huge eggplant. 

Fortunately, it also turned out to be delicious!

To make this delectable fresh entree, grab:

8 plum tomatoes
olive oil
Italian seasoning
freshly ground black pepper
1 eggplant
1 cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Start by slicing your tomatoes in half and placing them on a foil-lined baking sheet.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Drizzle olive oil over each tomato, then top with salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings. Don't be afraid to really douse them in herbs.

Place your pan in the oven and cook for 35 minutes.

While they're cooking, grab your eggplant. Divide your flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs into three separate dishes. Slice your eggplant into medallions, then dip each one into the flour, egg and breadcrumbs to create a thin breading. Heat oil in a large pan and add your medallions.

Cook 3-5 minutes on each side until golden brown. Then, bring the heat down to a simmer and cover the pan, allowing the eggplant to cook until insides are tender, about 10 minutes.

I'll also point out that I only made half of the eggplant, because I was much too hungry to go through two batches of browning and simmering. But, if you have more willpower than me (or are serving a large group), be sure to transfer your cooked eggplant to a warming dish when you prepare the second half.

When eggplant and tomatoes are done, transfer your eggplant into a large bowl. Add your tomatoes on top of the eggplant, and tear half of them apart so you get some of the tomato juices flowing over the eggplant.
This shouldn't be too hard, because I found that most of the tomatoes broke when I tried to scoop them off of the foiled tray anyway!

Finally, top the whole bowl with your parmesan cheese.

Enjoy your crunchy, crispy, fresh and fire-roasted Italian feast! You'll think twice about using jarred tomato sauce again....

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