One of the vegetables that is in good supply this time of year is eggplant. Brett thought he hated eggplant and I suspect he isn't alone there. One evening, a few years ago, when he was gone at a mounted patrol meeting, I decided to make myself eggplant Parmesan for dinner. As luck would have it, his meeting ended early and he arrived back home just as my dinner was coming out of the oven. He couldn't resist the smell -- and it looks an awful lot like lasagna (one of his all time favorites). He tried it... and loved it. So, now I make eggplant Parmesan in the fall when beautiful purple aubergines are piled high at the farmers market.
The traditional way to prepare the eggplant is to slice it, salt it, set it in a colander to drain, and then fry it in hot oil. Oy, that takes way too much time and the eggplant soaks up the oil like a sponge. I coat a baking pan with oil, then brush the cut slices with more olive oil before setting them on the sheet. I bake them at 450F until they are brown; about 15 minutes. So much easier.
While the eggplant is in the oven, I made some tomato sauce. Sometimes I use store bought marina sauce. I didn't have any on hand so I made up a quick recipe. First I browned half an onion in olive oil. When the onion was soft, I added a couple cloves of garlic sliced. Next I dumped in a can of whole tomatoes with their sauce. I added a bit of grated carrot for sweetness, and a generous palm-ful of oregano (I love oregano), salt, pepper... let it simmer. The tomatoes break down and the whole thing thickens up.
Ladle some sauce into the bottom of a baking dish, add a layer of eggplant, then a shower of shredded mozzarella cheese. Add more sauce, eggplant and mozzarella. I sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese which helps give it a nice brown color. The trick is to use a generous amount of sauce. You don't want dry eggplant. ugh. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until brown and bubbly.
Toasted baguette (a great way to use leftover baguette) on the side and dinner is served.