Thursday, July 7, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan...and a Beautiful Garden!

I'm sure you are all familiar with eggplant Parmesan...so I will not go into a lengthy recipe with this, other than my simple "tried and true" method, and somewhat a step-by-step direction. Last week, I decided to use up my much needed "attention" eggplants that were just sitting lonely in the fridge box...looking almost sad after more than one week. Don't get me wrong, they were not spoiling or anything else, but I'm not like my daughter Lora, piling up on veggies, and day after day making something healthy out of them like she does.
That's why she stays skinny...LOL even when she will be returning from Italy, maybe she gains about 5 lbs. and every time I travel, I come back gaining 15 lbs. and it takes several months to get rid of it.

I'm linking my Eggplant Parmesan to:
Foodie Friday # 16 @Little Brick Ranch


So while I'm house sitting, I hope Lora sees my post on her I-Pad that I really took care of her basil that Teresa planted...aren't they gorgeous...but wait, there's more!
With all the drought we had, we've been literally praying for rain here, in South Florida, but now, for the last week it's been raining every single day...prayers do WORK for positive results. This little rosemary plant nearly died, now I'm going to plant it in a bigger pot, or in the ground so it could flourish, and grow bigger.

As you can see more basil plant, more oregano, a different type, and some Mexican oregano....love it!

A beautiful aloe plant...planted by Lora's dad...that was a tiny plant...thanks to the glorious Florida climate for this wondrous plant that "cures all" it has so many good uses, including for your skin, and to drink a refreshing aloe juice that would cost so much to buy!
Another beautiful Sicilian plant...planted by Lora's dad (my ex-hubby)...he has the "green thumb" for plants, and so does Teresa...I just take care of these beautiful plants!
The Bougainvillea, we have to give credit to Fabrizio for! (Lora's hubby)...he plants them all over the house, and they just flourish...such happy, and beautiful plants....such a wonderful garden to relax, and enjoy!
Another Bougainvillea, in the back yard...also, one on the front, which I didn't even take photo of yet! A
bird of paradise tree behind it at Dr. Eric's yard...peeking through!
Just look at the swimming pool, Fabrizio will be proud when he sees that I make sure the pool gets well maintained. It has an automatic vacuum cleaner that cleans it every day...no chlorine used in this pool, it's salt added to the pool...automatically feeding in. Wouldn't you want to "house sit" under this kind of beautiful scenery every morning you wake up, "sunshine" greets you, birds singing, and such a quiet neighborhood!
This tropical beauty divides the property, from the back neighbor's yard...you can see a little part of the fence...otherwise it's all lush green!
There's no reason not to have beautiful herbs, plants, trees, when you live in a tropical climate as we do...it's a matter of taking care of them, and caring for them, as if they could understand that you do. Take care of
nature's glorious gifts...and you will be greatly rewarded by their abundance of giving you much more!


So Cara, who is more of a daughter than (d)-in-law, gave me yet, another huge eggplant, and I had no choice but to get my act together and make a nice batch of homemade sauce...mind you, this is still at Lora's house (cleaning out her cupboards)
found  a truck-load of canned tomatoes, and sauces that Teresa (Lora's m-in-law made before returning back to Italy to her home!




 



All you need is a nice large can of 28 oz. imported tomatoes, maybe 2 cans, and just pop it into the blender to blend for a minute. Home canned does the same, except the flavor is more intense!









I slice 3 med. large eggplants, not too thick, and soaked them in plain salty water for 30 minutes to get the bitter seeds out.










You don't have to do what I did, but I always have fresh parsley, and fresh garlic combined, in a jar with vegetable oil added to it to keep it moist. It has a lot of uses. All you need is a small or medium food processor to grind the combination up.
Strain the water from the bowl, and add a teaspoon of the parsley mix, and about 1 Tbsp of oil to mix the eggplant together, salt and pepper, and you don't need an egg batter to dip it in.




Add the eggplant slices, about 3 or 4 at a time to a mixture of equal amount of flour, and breadcrumbs. Have a large zip-lock bag ready and put the mixture of the flour and breadcrumbs in, and add your eggplant slices in the bag.







Just look, your hands don't even have to get dirty, give it a good shake.











Lift the eggplant slices out with a tong, and place them on an aluminum lined and vegetable sprayed baking pan.




Spray some more cooking spray on the tops of the eggplant slices, and bake for about 45 minutes on
375 degrees F. Do not turn over. I also added 
strips of green pepper to the batter, to bake alongside eggplants.













Now you are ready to layer the eggplant slices, the cheeses, and the tomato sauce. On the bottom of a lasagna pan, scoop 1 ladle of sauce, one layer eggplant, Parmesan, and mozzarella, than sauce, and repeat again.








Do not put mozzarella on the top when your are ready to bake it. Mozzarella should be under the layer of the sauce. Bake covered on 375 degrees F. for about the first 45 minutes, take off cover, and now you can add the grated mozzarella on the top and bake for an additional 25 minutes, until it gets nice and bubbly, and cheese will start to brown...but do not burn!





I have to admit, this was the best...ever, eggplant Parmesan I have made, eggplant NOT fried, but bakes, and it was light, and absolutely delicious with the homemade tomatoes...Grazie Teresa! ...thanks to Lora's m-in-law for canning all those beautiful tomatoes for us!

41 comments:

  1. wow, what a heavenly place, I've never heard of the salt in the pool..Thats really interesting,, sounds healthier for ones skin than chlorine.You must be having a great time,

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so jealous of your garden! Just so pretty...
    Your eggplant parmigiana is so delicious looking..yummy yummy recipe!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Beautiful garden indeed!! The eggplant Parmesan.... I would take a plane to Florida for a taste!! It looks so scrumptious. Enjoy your weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I should have never looked at this before bed, I'm going to be dreaming about it now. I'm jealous of that garden, I think you have a better climate for the tropicals. Must be a hard job indeed taking care of that beautiful place. Hope you enjoy your weekend.
    -Gina-

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beside your beautiful garden, I admire also your eggplant parmesan dear... that's my hubby and my dream to have a house with some spare land where we can grow something to be comsumed, one day when we were old :)))

    ReplyDelete
  6. Looks really delicious. Eggplant, cheese and tomato is really comforting

    ReplyDelete
  7. lovely clicks..
    I'm in awe of you..:))
    Tasty Appetite

    ReplyDelete
  8. Oh my! Your aloe vera looks spectacular! I'm so very jealous. Great eggplant parmesan too :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love the idea of baking the eggplant vs. frying...a must try indeed! Eggplant Parm has to be one of my all time favorite Italian dishes EVER! My stomach is growling now, I haven't had breakfast yet, and honestly, I could eat THIS for breakfast!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Véletlenül, blogról blogra járva találtalak meg, és ennek igazán örülök! :)
    Fantasztikus képeket hoztál a nyövényeidről, és fantasztikus fotókat is sikerült készíteni. :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love eggplant parmesan! I sometimes grill them first before baking instead of frying for healthier option.
    The herbs look gorgeous. I should be available to house-sit sometime :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I love eggplant and I actually made my first eggplant parmesan not a long ago. You made me want to eat it again!!! Yours look definitely more delicious than mine though... I have never seen the vaccume cleaner for swimming pool. That's so cool that you don't have to use chrorine to clean up. And your garden is beautiful. My garden...umm can't even talk about it. Happy Friday to you!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, what a gorgeous garden!!! I JUST discovered your blog...I know, I live under a rock apparently and as I read, I a reading Lora and Fabrizio and Italy and Teresa...and realize, you are Lora's Mom!? Hi, Hello, lovely to find your blog!!!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, your eggplant parmesan is packed with full flavours! Lora has a great garden and having a pool is perfect for the hot summer. It's lovely to sit back and enjoy some good food.

    ReplyDelete
  15. ahhh i bet the eggplant parm tasted delish! my dad's favorite veggie is eggplant!! i'll definitely have to try this when i cook for him!

    ReplyDelete
  16. That is beautiful garden Elisabeth. Eggplant parmesan looks fabulous. That is one of my order while visiting olive garden.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh that looks so good...one of my favorite dishes always :) Lora's garden looks exquisite and the pool pristine...I am sure they will be more than grateful when they arrive back home :)
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend Elisabeth

    ReplyDelete
  18. A parmezános padlizsán is remek, no de a kerted...az elvarázsolt! Kedvencem a bougeainvillea, imádom!!! Csodás édenkerted van!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. What a gorgeous garden! That bougainvillea is amazing. :) I love eggplant parmesan but stay away from it because it's usually fried. Your recipe gives me a new way to make one of my favorite dishes guilt free! :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. That's a beautiful house and the garden..wow..that's my dream garden..so green, full of life and activities.
    You absolutely did a great job! I will have to search for some Mexico oregano.
    Love your cheesy eggplant...looks delish!
    Have a great weekend, Eli!
    Angie

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wowowowo, how beautiful the house and the garden is , just lovely , I love eggplants and i will def make this one , I just love your receipes Elisabeth coz they always turn out good .

    ReplyDelete
  22. Gorgeous pictures, Elisabeth! I love the garden and the house! And that eggplant parmesan looks so delicious! Thanks for shraing :)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Very Beautiful Pictures.. Love ur Garden and I could almost smell the eggplant parmesan .. :)

    New to ur space and absolutely love it.. following u for more wonderful creations..

    Do visit me as time permits..
    http://comeletseat.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. I grow quite a bit of aubergines.And I am fortunate I love to eat them.Fresh herbs also have always in my garden and in the winter(which is now ,but never with snow) I just grow them on the window bench.Fantastic pics:)

    ReplyDelete
  25. Gorgeous! Flowers, herbs, garden and eggplant parmesan! I'd be happy house sitting for a place like that too :D

    ReplyDelete
  26. What a beautiful garden...can I move in?!?!? Just kidding of course, but I do dream of having a garden like this someday (it won't be in Paris, that's for sure!). Thanks for sharing your light and delicious-sounding eggplant parmesan recipe...I'll have to make it one of these days!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Wow now thats a great looking garden, mine is consisting of six pots... four being tomatoes. Of course they look like mini pools. I bake my eggplant to, actually made it the 4th, yours looks great! Please stop by @Blogsgotheart, and then send me your address, your one of four winners of Joy's Cookbook! Happy Cooking! and Congrats!~

    ReplyDelete
  28. Wow what a gorgeous place to house sit, so lucky!!! That eggplant parmesan looks delicious!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. You are so lucky to house sit in such a beautiful garden, Elisabeth! Thank you for putting our blog in your side-bar blogroll. Please note that you've made a slight spelling mistake. It's www.cookandfeed.blogspot.com.

    ReplyDelete
  30. What a beautiful eggplant dish. I like the herbs growing in the garden. I am actually thinking of planting some on my apartment veranda but I'm not sure how to go about it.

    http://spoon-and-chopsticks.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  31. Elizabeth, What a gorgeous yard! You're doing a great job house sitting! I have never made eggplant parmesan mostly because my husband doesn't do eggplant! But you have just inspired me to try this! Your eggplant parm instructions and photos are wonderful! Enjoy your week-end my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I'm in envy here. You got a pool! I wish I had one in my back yard too. Lol.. Get to jump straight in during a hot weather. Oh well it's forever hot in KL. I love eggplants. You've just inspired me on what I can do with some fresh eggplants my mom bought over this weekend. Hugggssss...

    ReplyDelete
  33. What a peaceful garden. I'm envious of all the herbs. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  34. Il tuo giardino è bellissimo...e anche le melanzane sembrano ottime :)

    ReplyDelete
  35. Oooooo, I am soooo jealous of your beautiful garden :) but all in a good way, Elisabeth!! And I love that Eggplant Parmesan recipe - looks so stunning and delicious!!!

    ReplyDelete
  36. Lora's garden looks great. I wouldn't mind at all house-sitting with you and enjoy a cocktail by the pool while watching the sun going down.
    The eggplant parmigiana looks delicious Elisabeth.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Great recipe. I love Parmesan cheese and this is such a clever way to taste all its goodness!
    I recently wrote an article on how real Parmesan cheese is made and on its nutritional value. Check it out and let me know your thoughts, I would really appreciated it!
    http://www.theironyou.com/2011/06/how-parmesan-cheese-comes-to-life.html

    Peace

    Mike @TheIronYou

    ReplyDelete
  38. awwww thank u for giving me the cute little chef award. heeeheee i am "blushing" :D

    ReplyDelete
  39. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hello there! I know this is somewhat off topic
    but I was wondering if you knew where I could
    get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I'm using the same blog platform as yours and I'm having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

    Here is my website - Nike Air Max Pas Cher

    ReplyDelete
  41. Excellent site. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it
    to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks to your effort!


    My web-site; Louis Vuitton Outlet

    ReplyDelete

Your visits and comments are greatly appreciated. It really makes me happy to have you stop by. Will do my best to comment back. Thank you and take care! xo