And the second? Our disappointing garden. The resident woodchuck did his best to mow down the green beans and the okra, the weeds went crazy (busy gardener error,) and the weather was funky. Even so we did get a nice selection of peppers--both green and banana, a wonderful crop of cucumbers, and finally, some tomatoes and eggplant.
About once a year when the season warrants, I make homemade eggplant parmigiana. It probably wouldn't pass muster in a real Italian kitchen because I don't fry the eggplant or make the sauce from scratch. Even so, using our own shiny purple eggplant and a handful of peppers just out of the garden, it tastes pretty darned good.
1 large or 2 medium eggplants, peeled or not, sliced into rounds
milk for dipping
1 onion, sliced
3 peppers sliced
1 large jar Classico spicy red pepper tomato sauce (or whatever kind you like)
8 oz fresh mozzarella, shredded
generous handful of grated parmesan cheese
Dip the eggplant slices into a shallow bowl of milk, then breadcrumbs, then spread them onto a greased cookie pan and bake about 1/2 hour until tender and brown (350.)
Saute the onions and peppers in a little olive oil until soft.
Layer the sauce, the eggplant, the vegetables and the cheeses in an oiled 9 x 12 Pyrex pan, and top with more grated Parmesan.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 min at 350, then remove the foil and bake another 10-15 minutes. The casserole should be bubbly and the cheese beginning to brown.
Serve with a green salad, and if you wish, crusty bread to mop up the sauce.
LUCY BURDETTE is the author of the Key West food critic mysteries. You are invited to follow her on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, and TWITTER!
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