Eggplant parmigiana

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • 5 eggplant (1.8kg), sliced lengthways 6mm thick
  • For shallow frying: olive oil
  • For dusting: seasoned plain flour
  • 200 gm finely grated parmesan, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 cups (loosely packed) basil leaves, stalks reserved for sugo, plus extra leaves to serve
  • To serve: bitter leaf salad
  •  
  • Sugo
  • 60 ml (ΒΌ cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 600 gm vine-ripened tomatoes
  • 400 gm canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped oregano
01   Place eggplant in a large bowl, add 2 tsp fine sea salt, toss to coat and set aside for liquid to drain (20 minutes).
02   For sugo, heat oil in a frying pan over high heat, add onion and stir occasionally until starting to caramelise (3-5 minutes), then add garlic and stir until caramelised (1-2 minutes). Add fresh and canned tomato, oregano and reserved basil stalks, bring to the simmer, reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally until tender and thick (30-40 minutes). Remove stalks (discard), transfer to a blender, season to taste and blend until smooth.
03   Heat olive oil to 3mm deep in a frying pan, dust eggplant slices with seasoned flour, shake off excess, then fry in batches, adding more oil as necessary, until golden (2-4 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper.
04   Preheat oven to 180C. Spoon a little sugo into a 15cm x 25cm baking dish, top with a layer of eggplant, scatter with parmesan and basil, then repeat until all ingredients are used, finishing with a layer of sugo. Scatter with extra parmesan, bake until golden and bubbling (20-30 minutes), scatter with extra basil and serve with a bitter leaf salad.
This recipe is from the April 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

LISA FEATHERBY

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

LISA FEATHERBY AND CLAIRE DELMAR

Drinking Suggestion:

DEEPLY FRUITY RED BARBERA. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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