Plus, eggplants were $1 at the grocery store this afternoon, and I've been trying to be more thrifty by buying only what's on sale or at least in season, thus fresh enough to be worth what the cost.
Here is my cheap, hurried basically eggplant parmesan.
I'm not going to give a full recipe listing every ingredient, because obviously you can do this dish any way you like. Here's how I did it:
- Heat oven to 425°f.
- Chop up en eggplant. You can do it in halves if you like, but I chopped mine up smaller for faster cooking and extra crispiness. (Don't peel it. I leave the peels on almost everything! Just make sure you wash it very thoroughly, duh.)
- Slice some grape tomatoes in half (because I bought them today for $1 a pint).
- Toss the chopped eggplant and tomatoes in a bowl with raw chopped garlic, extra-virgin olive oil, and any spices you like. I used Italian seasoning, fresh ground sea salt and peppers, etc., but fresh herbs like basil would be better if you have them. Unfortunately, a squirrel dug up my basil plants today!
- Lay the veggies out on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 35+ minutes, depending on how big your eggplant slices are. (I absentmindedly left mine in the oven a bit too long, but it was still delicious.)
- Remove from oven and eat as is or add anything you like. I added some pasta sauce and parmesan cheese (mine wasn't fresh, which is basically a sin). Top with raw chives if you are weird like that. I happen to have a hearty chive plant growing in a pot by my backdoor, so I top everything with chives, no matter what the flavor.
For being exhausted after a long day + putting in subpar effort (which is sort of an oxymoron), I was able to put together a pretty yummy meal that is friendly to the changes I'm trying to make in my diet, (except for the crappy cheese). I don't know why I don't buy eggplant more often. I see lots of it in my future, dressed in many shades of herbs and spices. Hmm! Oh yeah, I might have added raw sunflower seeds to mine for extra crunch and protein, or just because I was basically starving and I'm some kind of freakish glutton. Ha! (I did.)