Foodie Friday: Baked Eggplant Parm

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Welcome to Foodie Friday! FF is just a way for me to remain focused and organized for my blog. This week’s FF topic? Eggplant.

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You either love eggplant or you hate it. I first cooked with eggplant last Summer, stewing down local Japanese eggplant with backyard tomatoes, squash, onions, and various herbs. Delicious.

Most people who don’t enjoy eggplant seem to do so because of the bitterness caused by an overripe eggplant. The theory is that if you lightly salt an eggplant that you think will be bitter and let it sit for a little while, it will trigger osmosis, drawing out excess moisture and the bitterness along with it. But what you should really do is choose an eggplant that is shiny and firm, which means it is fresh. The fresher the better. Or better yet, grow your own! When my mom accidentally purchased an eggplant for our garden this year, I didn’t worry. I knew that we would find some way to utilize it.

Enter Lick My Spoon’s “Ridiculously Good Baked Eggplant Parm” (click through for the recipe). My mom and I fixed this recipe Wednesday night and it was super-simple. While my mom ate it and said it was “pretty good”, she still prefers her lasagna to have meat. I thought that the baked eggplant seemed to have that “meaty” texture and would eat this again, especially if I am wanting to introduce more vegetables into my diet. The star of this recipe was the tomato sauce however, we both loved it and have already been brainstorming uses for the leftover sauce. It’s so fresh tasting that we both thought it would be the perfect dipping sauce or pizza sauce, especially once our own tomatoes are ripe!

This dish didn't make the most flattering of photos but it sure was tasty.
This dish didn’t make the most flattering of photos but it sure was tasty.

We stuck somewhat to the recipe, though we halved it and did not add the additional garlic to the topping. Mom is not a big garlic fan. We also didn’t cook the garlic beforehand in olive oil before adding it to the tomatoes (mom didn’t read the recipe all the way through), but I think that it still worked perfectly.

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What’s your favorite way to prepare eggplant (if you like it, that is)?

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