Thursday, September 1, 2016

Garden Tomato, Eggplant and Fresh Mozzarella Bake


 Since it's now September, I'm soaking up every second of summer (and the beautiful fruits and veggies that come with it). Lots of people aren't sure what to do with eggplant besides fry it. I decided to grill it and pair it with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella to mimic eggplant Parmesan, but with way less calories and lots more natural flavor. Serve this dish with grilled chicken or salmon and you have a beautiful, colorful weeknight meal.

1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat an 8x8 pan with olive oil.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, pepper and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and turn heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. 





3. Meanwhile, heat grill to medium-high. Brush the eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 1-2 minutes per side, or until grill marks form and the eggplant is lightly softened. Transfer to a plate. 



4. Place a layer of eggplant in the prepared baking dish and top with basil, sauce and cheese. Repeat the layer 1 more time. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. 

5. Bake (covered with foil) for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until cheese is bubbly. Let sit 10 minutes before slicing.





Garden Tomato, Eggplant and Fresh Mozzarella Bake
Serves 6

All you need:
Sauce
1 red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 lb. tomatoes, diced (I used yellow cherry tomatoes)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. sugar
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes

2 small (or 1 large) eggplants, ends removed and sliced thin
1/2 cup fresh basil
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
Olive oil, for drizzling

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 375. Coat an 8x8 pan with olive oil.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, pepper and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and turn heat to low. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes. 
3. Meanwhile, heat grill to medium-high. Brush the eggplant with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill for 1-2 minutes per side, or until grill marks form and the eggplant is lightly softened. Transfer to a plate. 
4. Place a layer of eggplant in the prepared baking dish and top with basil, sauce and cheese. Repeat the layer 1 more time. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. 
5. Bake (covered with foil) for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until cheese is bubbly. Let sit 10 minutes before slicing. 
 

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