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Welcome to my Italian Cafe

Posted By yum On February 6, 2007 @ 1:28 am In Italian, Vegetarian | 9 Comments

Dinner tonight was my own recipe for eggplant Parmesan, and a Martha Stewart’s Living recipe for Portobello Mushroom Gratin. The gratin was lovely because it had fresh sage, portobello mushrooms, and goat cheese. I did enjoy the chance to use my charming gratin pans with matching wicker baskets, purchased in Japan. Oddly enough I first developed a passion for gratin in Japan, where yummy, creamy gratin dishes are featured in most family style restaurants. Gratin dishes in restaurants were of course completely off limits for this gluten free girl, being based around wheat pasta and white sauce, but there was a dish called Doria which featured rice in a cheese sauce which I found without wheat as thickener in a restaurant— once. Remind me to experiment with the latter another day. However, despite my rhapsodizing about gratin- my old favorite recipe for eggplant Parmesan stole the show tonight. So, until I have perfected a gratin or Doria recipe, here is a yummy eggplant recipe to tide you over.

Eggplant Parmesan Sans Crumbs
Side Dish [1]  Vegetables [2]  Italian [3]  
My Eggplant Parmesan
My Eggplant Parmesan
1 lg round American style eggplant
Italian seasoning
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
Spaghetti Sauce (homemade or store bought)
low fat mozzarella cheese, shredded (to taste)
asiago cheese or other highly flavorful hard cheese, shredded (optional)
pine nuts (if desired)
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Take a few teaspoons or so of your favorite italian spice blend, and sprinkle in flat bottomed dish. I like pie pans for this purpose. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar, whisking to emulsify. I vary the amount of olive oil depending on my mood and dietary philosophy at the time. Obviously if dieting, I use a much higher ratio of vinegar to oil. Once I have a nice marinade dressing, I cut the eggplant into circular rounds and dip them in the marinade, making sure each side absorbs some liquid. I spray a cookie sheet with nonstick cooking oil and place the eggplant rounds on the surface in a single layer. Bake for 15-20 minutes, spray exposed side with cooking spray and flip. The rounds should become crispy on the edges, but not blackened, charcoal circles. (cough cough) Bake for at least 10 more minutes.

Assemble eggplant parmesan by layering spaghetti sauce, eggplant circles, and finally topping with cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is nicely browned. Enjoy!

[This recipe can be made dairy free/ vegan by toasting pine nuts and GF sundried tomato bread, and then making crumbs from this mixture in the food processor. Use as a replacement for the cheese.]

This is a recipe that I have developed over the years, as you can tell by the vague proportions of ingredients. DH, who was a self confessed eggplant hater, gives a thumbs up and asks for more.

eggplant.jpg [4] Martha's gratin [5]

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URLs in this post:

[1] Side Dish: http://www.bookofyum.com/recipes_v2/listrecipes.php#Side Dish

[2] Vegetables: http://www.bookofyum.com/recipes_v2/listrecipes.php#Vegetables

[3] Italian: http://www.bookofyum.com/recipes_v2/listrecipes.php#Italian

[4] Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/eggplant.jpg

[5] Image: http://www.bookofyum.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2007/02/gratinsage.jpg

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