The food you make is only as good as the ingredients that go into that food. No matter what you are cooking it will always taste better if you start with fresh, good quality ingredients.
I harvested the last of my eggplants and knew it was time to make an eggplant parmesan and since I have a glut of tomatoes I started by making the sauce for the dish.
This takes a while to cook down so it might be best to make the sauce a day a head of time. I have been peeling a lot of tomatoes for canning and decided this time to just chop up the tomatoes and throw them in the pot, skin and all. While they cooked down, I picked a few of the skins out, but the majority I left in there and since this sauce cooked so long and the eggplant parmesan baked for a while the skins were not noticable in the dish. I added sauted onion, garlic, red wine, fresh basil and salt to the sauce and that was all. Fresh tomato sauce does not need a lot of ingredients, the fresh tomato taste is sufficient.
To prepare the eggplant, slice, sprinkle with salt and let sit in a strainer for 40 minutes to take some of the moisture out. Drain on a paper towel, or clean towel, and wipe off excess salt and moisture.
Bread the eggplant slices by dipping, first into flour seasoned with salt and pepper, then beaten eggs, and finally bread crumbs. Place the breaded eggplant into a fry pan with a couple inches of hot oil.
Fry, turning once, until both sides are golden brown.
Layer in a 9 x 13 dish by first placing a cup of sauce at the bottom of the pan, then shingling the eggplant on top and sprinkling a layer of mozzarella, then more sauce and finally parmesan cheese. Repeat with a second layer, finishing with the mozzarella on top, and bake at 375 degrees until cheese is bubbling and well browned, about 15 minutes.
As you may already know, I love to cook while listening to music and sipping on wine, so this was a pleasure to make. My music for this dish was Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, the Up From Below album. Ah, just writing this makes me want to make it all over again, it was fun and oh so delicious to eat; think parmesan, tomato and a little crunchy fried taste, mmm.