By Contributing Writer, Sarah Outlaw
As summer draws to a close, we are blessed with a bountiful harvest from our local farmer’s market. Eggplant and tomatoes are plentiful and can be made into a variety of flavorful dishes.
A family favorite of ours is a savory roasted eggplant and tomato recipe that was inspired a few years back by one of my favorite chefs, Giada de Laurentiis. In her recipe, the eggplant and tomatoes are halved and roasted. I make mine more like a layered lasagna type dish.
How to pick out the fresh ingredients:
Japanese of Fairytale eggplant are best for this recipe. They are smaller than regular eggplant and have thinner skin so they don’t need to be peeled. They are more tender and better for recipes like this one. You’ll need about 4-5 eggplant for a 9×13 baking dish.
Any variety of tomatoes can be used providing that they are large enough to slice and layer. Choose very ripe but still firm tomatoes that can be sliced easily. You’ll need at least 4 tomatoes for a 9×13 dish.
How to assemble the eggplant and tomatoes:
Arrange the sliced eggplant across the bottom of the baking dish in a single layer as best you can. Drizzle with olive oil, melted butter or ghee. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
Layer sliced tomatoes on top of the eggplant and sprinkle with fat of choice, salt and pepper again.
On top of the eggplant and tomatoes, spread the diced tomato and garlic mixture (see recipe below).
Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and optional bread crumbs if desired. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45-50 minutes.
Serve hot and if you have any leftovers, they are wonderful cold in a sandwich the next day!
Roasted Eggplant and Tomatoes
- 4-5 Japanese or Fairytale eggplant
- 4 tomatoes
- 6 TBS olive oil, coconut oil, ghee or butter
- 4-6 cloves minced garlic (about 4 tsp)
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 -14 1/2 oz can organic, diced tomatoes (BPA-free can)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs – grind up your favorite sprouted or gluten-free bread in a food processor (optional)
- Arrange sliced eggplant in a single layer in a 9×13 baking dish.
- Sprinkle with olive oil, coconut oil, melted butter, melted ghee, salt and pepper.
- Arrange sliced tomatoes over eggplant and season with salt and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, mix 2 TBS of fat of choice, 2 tsp. of the garlic, 1/4 tsp. of the oregano (use full amounts of these ingredients if not using bread crumbs) and diced tomatoes (drain juices first).
- If using bread crumbs: Combine with remaining garlic, fat of choice and oregano.
- Sprinkle over top of layered eggplant and tomatoes.
- Top with grated parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-50 minutes until eggplant is fork tender.
It’s delicious and so full of flavor! You’ll want to make it again and again!
What’s your favorite way to prepare eggplant?