Get ready – this recipe is conventional in method, but somewhat unconventional in it’s use of ingredients.
I use eggplant, but you can use zucchini if you don’t eat this vegetable that is part of the nightshade family (which includes potatoes, tomatoes and chili peppers). Some folks have a noticeable intolerance to nightshades, and historically the nightshade family did contain toxic chemicals as a defense (mainly bitter alkaloids), however many years of selection and breeding have removed most of those chemicals and bitterness.
Tip The salted eggplant slices drip in a strainer for 15 minutes or so to remove excess moisture and collapse the eggplant down so it does not absorb a lot of oil when I fry it. If you don’t want to salt it, you can microwave or roast the slices of eggplant to get this desired effect.
I actually make half of this recipe because, alas, I’m the only one here who likes eggplant. I doubled it for readers so you can fill a 9 inch x 9 inch baking dish, however if you want less layers (two versus four layers), you can use half of everything in the recipe.
Ingredients (makes 4 layers in a 9x 9 inch baking dish)
- 2 medium eggplants (I use purple eggplants)
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt for removing moisture from eggplant slices
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt for the flour mixture
- 2 cup of almond flour (or other flour)
- 1 large egg (or more if needed), lightly scrambled in a bowl
- 1/4 cup of olive oil for frying (possibly more)
- 2 cups of tomato sauce (or crushed tomatoes that have been cooked with seasonings)
- about 2 cups of goat cheese (or dripped goat yogurt, lightly salted)
- about 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
- fresh basil leaves (or dried basil) for the top (optional)
- Peel the skin off the eggplants, and slice them length-wise so you have thin slices for layering, casserole-style.
- Sprinkle the slices with sea salt (on both sides), and let them sit in a strainer or colander to drain moisture. Let this magic happen for about 15 minutes. Sometimes I leave it in the fridge to drain for a few hours, or until I’m ready to bake this dish.
- Combine the sea salt and flour and blend together with a fork. Pat dry the eggplant slices with a paper towel.
- On medium to low heat, warm a frying pan with oil. Create a thin layer of an oil puddle so the eggplant slices don’t stick to the pan surface.
- Lightly coat (dip) the eggplant slices in the egg and then in the flour/salt mixture, and then place in the heated frying pan.
- Fry the eggplant slices on both sides for a few minutes on each side, until they start to brown a bit, and then place on a paper to absorb the excess oil.
- In a baking dish, place a layer of tomato sauce, then a layer of eggplant slices, then a sprinkling of goat cheese, and finally some Parmesan sprinkled on top of the goat cheese. Repeat this process until you’ve used up all the eggplant and your final, top layer is goat and Parmesan cheese. Optionally, place some basil on the top.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for about 10 minutes.
- cool and then cut. Enjoy! Goes great with a salad and glass of red wine (or grape juice). And you can reheat at 400 degrees F for about 8 minutes. It cuts really well when cold (which is how I got that nice square picture of a slice).