After returning home very late Sunday night from the grandparents’, there were few ingredients left for dinner today. Hubby had thawed a couple of filet mignon and requested something veggie to accompany the meat. I took one look in the crisper and knew exactly what to make…
Without parmesan cheese I could not call it eggplant parmesan officially, however this was darn close enough. I used some of the huge block of pecorino we bought, shaved super thin so that a quick trip under the broiler would melt it into the eggplant and sauce. When it came out of the oven, all I could mutter was mmmm wow, then maybe drooled a little, but not into the casserole dish mind you. I really didn’t expect it to be so delicate and a great side dish for a hunk of beef.
I had a biscuit (re-heated from the freezer, made from scratch last week or so) and a romaine salad along side the eggplant and bacon-wrapped filet. All hubby could say was “wow” and silently devoured his plate plus samples from mine (that’s love if anything in this world could be, at least for me).
- 1 eggplant
- 1 lemon
- sea salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 – 4 Tbsp oil
- 1 8oz can tomato sauce of your liking, I add sautéed onion and garlic
- 1 tsp greek oregano
- 1/4 cup pecorino cheese (Parmesan Reggiano works of course)
Slice the eggplant lengthwise so that you have long planks of flesh. Salt one side and place salted side down on a cooking rack. Let them sweat while you prepare the remainder. Pour the sauce into a baking dish that will hold the eggplant in one layer. Add the oregano and mix it in a little. Add sautéed onion and garlic if the sauce is plain, you know what you like so add it in. Reserve about a tablespoon of the sauce.
Wipe the moisture that has escaped from the eggplant with a clean towel. Salt and pepper both sides of the eggplant sparsely. Add oil to a hottish large pan, then gently brown each side of the eggplant planks. Carefully remove the golden fleshy eggplant to the sauce in the casserole dish. Add a bit of lemon zest and juice of half the lemon over the eggplant. Spread the reserved sauce then a thin layer of cheese.
Toss the dish under a low broiler for about 8 – 9 minutes, just until the sauce is hot and the pecorino has given up and melted. Keep your eye (or nose) on it especially if you only have one broiler setting (freaky hot).
You could keep the meal vegetarian by serving this with angel hair pasta instead of the filet mignon, or skip that entirely and put more romaine on your plate. I will leave those details to you… Enjoy!