Friday, September 9, 2011
New Jersey's meal fulfilled one of the girls' recent requests: that we have a vegetarian meal for a state dinner. You might have noticed that our meals have been pretty meat-centric. But, I've yet to find a state with a vegetarian entree as a central part of its cuisine. This meal not only filled the vegetarian bill, it allowed us to use up a lot of our CSA vegetables that were starting to pile up as the season became more abundant. Given New Jersey's large Italian population and it's designation as The Garden State, eggplant parmesan seemed like the perfect choice!
Marc and Lucy took charge of this one, photos and all.
First, Marc salted the eggplant slices and left them to rest in a colander for about 30 minutes. This pulls the water out of the slices so they don't completely disintegrate when you bake them.
Next, Lucy pressed the slices into breadcrumbs seasoned with basil and romano cheese.
Next, the slices were fried lightly in olive oil:
We used our individual ramekins again, making nice little stacks of fried eggplant layered with fresh marinara sauce, mozzarella, and fresh parmesan.
About 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven and they became savory, melty and delicious!
On the side, we had a simple fennel salad: chopped fresh fennel lightly dressed with olive oil, cider vinegar, salt and pepper.
Unfortunately, despite their requests for a meatless meal--this one was not a hit. Both girls managed to consume about two bites, declaring it "squishy" and "disgusting." Marc and I polished off the wine and ate their leftovers.
Next stop: New Mexico