So I'm in the kitchen --all set to start the recipe when I discover I have only three cheeses on hand. Suddenly it becomes a three-cheese, not four-cheese eggplant parmigiana sandwich like the delicious one I ate recently at "Tre Piani," in Princeton's Forrestal Village.
OK, I can live with that, I tell myself, but whoa -- then I realize I don't have any nice crusty Italian rolls. Should have checked the larder first. So my longed-for sandwich morphs into just eggplant parmigiana, with a salad on the side. Sometimes you gotta go with the flow.
There were no complaints -- we practically licked the plates. But next time I make it, I'm gonna go for the gusto and use all four cheeses, which I've included in the recipe below. The sandwich I ate at Tre Piani had a really sharp bite, and I'm guessing it was blue cheese, so I included some in mine. Naturally, you can use any combination or proportion of cheeses you like. Just keep Velveeta out of the picture -- please.
The cheeses may make this a really rich dish, but let's face it, they don't do much for your hips. So I made an adjustment for calories' sake and baked the eggplant slices, rather than fried them. Honestly, you'd never know the difference. And it may help come bathing suit season.
Four Cheese Eggplant Parmigiana
1 large eggplant
1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten with 2 T. milk
olive oil, to coat pan
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated blue cheese
1/2 cup grated Asiago or Fontina cheese
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
about 2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
(I used a good homemade sauce my brother Frank had canned and given to me)
About an hour before starting, slice the eggplant and sprinkle with salt. Place on paper towels and let sit for a half hour. Press down on the paper towels, then turn around to the other side and sprinkle with salt. After a half hour, press down on the paper towels again, or use more to get rid of excess moisture.
Dredge the slices with flour, then dip in the egg mixture and dredge with the bread crumbs. Spread a light layer of oil on a cookie sheet and place the eggplant on the sheet. Bake the slices for about 15 minutes in a preheated 425 degree oven. Flip the slices and bake for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
In a heatproof casserole, spread a layer of tomato sauce and add a layer of the eggplant slices, cutting them to fit the casserole. Mix all the grated cheeses in a bowl and spread half of the mixture over the eggplant. Repeat the process - tomato sauce, eggplant slices and the cheeses. Spread a layer of tomato sauce on top to finish. Bake lightly covered in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes. Serves four normal appetites or two really ravenous folk.
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