Sunday, August 23, 2009

Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan

Next summer, I'm hoping for this recipe to cost me very little. If planned out right, all that would need to be bought is the cheese and eggs. The rest will come from my garden or will already be in my pantry. If you are lucky enough to have a garden, a cow and some chickens...I want to be you. Seriously.

2 medium sized zucchini
1 eggplant
olive oil - keep the bottle handy, the breaded veggies soak it up fast
3 cloves garlic
1 cup crushed vegetable crackers (I can't remember what kind I use, I recycled the box - it's
green though, if that helps)
*instead of veggie crackers, you can use bread crumbs, other crackers, etc. Just add Italian
spices to give it a kicky flavor.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
couple of eggs, maybe 3
pasta sauce ( I use Prego...I like the sweetness of it)
bag of grated Parmesan
bag of mozzarella ( could be shredded or slices...doesn't matter)
fresh basil
fresh oregano

1. Cut the zucchini and eggplant into rounds about 1/2 inch.

2. Put the zucchini in a bowl of water and put in the fridge. Walk away for at least 2 hours.

3. Salt the eggplant, place in colander. Put the colander over a bowl to catch the water.

Walk away for 2 hours.

You're back, yay!

4. Drain zucchini. Keep in the bowl. Add Eggplant to the bowl.

5. Beat the eggs and pour over the zucchini and eggplant. mix, shake or stir. Just make sure
the veggies get covered with the egg.

6. Put some oil in the pan (I use a wok, but use whatever you have), add the three cloves of
garlic. heat it on medium. (just leave the cloves in the oil for a blast of flavor. Yeah, I said,
"blast of flavor".)

7. Mix flour and crushed up crackers (should be very fine, like bread crumbs)

8. Coat egg-covered veggies in the cracker mix. (You can do this before you heat the oil and
have them set on a plate or you can do it while you fry...up to you.)

9. Fry the veggies to a golden brown...couple minutes on each side. Discard the garlic when the frying is done.
10. Place the veggies on a towel to absorb the grease. (I don't use paper towels, so I use clean
dish towels. Use old sheets for all I care...just sop up the grease)

11. Now it's time to layer. Spray a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray, or grease with olive oil. Go
ahead, use lard.

12. A layer of eggplant/zucchini first. Then toss on some Parmesan - just a sprinkle across the
layer of veggies. Layer on the mozzarella. I like it cheesy, to make the husband happy about
the lack of meat. Then spoon on some sauce. Depending upon how saucy you like it will
determine how much you use. I usually use 1/3 of the jar for each layer. Then, I put the rest
of the sauce in the fridge for something later on in the week. Throw on some fresh basil and
oregano. Repeat layers. After the 2nd and final layer of sauce, add some more mozzarella. I
usually go through a 1/2 bag of Parmesan and a bag, sometimes more, of mozzarella.
13. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes, or until cheese is all melty and yummy looking.

14. Let cool a bit and dig in!

This dish freezes well. It can be frozen before you bake it or after. There's a lot of room for personal choice here.

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