Last week my mom came to visit me for a few days. (I know, I’m behind in the posting. I blame the TV show “Parks and Recreation” to which I am now addicted.) Her birthday was at the end of July so it was kind of a birthday visit.
I decided to make her a belated birthday dinner of eggplant parmesan on her first night in town.
Eggplants started cropping up at the Walla Walla Farmer’s Market and I couldn’t resist them. My mom also LOVES them, so that made it even more of a done deal. After purchasing, I just had to decide what to do with them—eggplant parmesan was the first thing that came to mind.
As usual, I googled a recipe, found more than plenty and settled on this one (again from Food Network, but this time from Bobby Flay).
*Disclaimer: I didn’t attempt the homemade sauce. Instead I used a store bought fire-roasted tomato variety and added fresh heirloom tomatoes to it (another item of farmer’s market bounty).
The recipe was pretty ambitious and labor-intensive. What took the longest was prepping all the ingredients rather than the actual assembly. Luckily we had two sets of hands.
The eggplant itself was definitely the most demanding. It had to be sliced, seasoned, dredged in flour, dipped in egg, then dredged in the bread crumb/herb mixture (and we made the bread crumbs too, so that took a while…), and then fried in hot oil on the stove.
All this before layering it in the baking dish with the sauce and cheese.
In the end, the hard work was worth it (as it usually is).
We accompanied the main dish with a delicious caprese salad (made from a GIANT heirloom tomato) and some steamed artichokes (yep, also from the farmer’s market!) and garlic butter dipping sauce.
My mom says it was her favorite meal of the trip!