Eggplant-Mushroom Parmesan…in the making.


Hello on this glorious Sunday! Today I am making a favorite in our house. This happened to be one of those days when we didn’t want meat, but something that still was hardy enough to call a meal. And since I had picked up a few bags of eggplant from Costco, along with a carton of baby portobello mushrooms, I figured I would combine the two and make Eggplant-Mushroom Parmesan. I started out making a marinara from scratch, sautéed the mushrooms until golden brown, sliced and fried the eggplants in a little vegetable oil, then layered a casserole dish with sauce, eggplant, mushrooms, fresh basil, Parmesan cheese, and fresh mozzarella, repeated in that order. After about 30 minutes in the oven on 375, you end up with a beautiful vegetarian casserole sure to please. I’ll serve an organic garden salad with a garlic vinaigrette dressing, and a Boston iced tea (which is just cranberry juice and tea mixed together). And best of all, this meal is perfectly gluten free!

Going back to the marinara, I have found my favorite tomatoes to use, and they are Carmelina San Marzano, which I order from Amazon. They are the most juicy, silky, red tomatoes you will ever experience. I get the whole unpeeled tomatoes and crush for my sauce. I like that they do not have salt or other ingredients, just beautiful San Marzano tomatoes in their own puree. A case of 12 costs me about $34, but they are worth it. Also, I found my new go to marinara which happens to be a recipe by Ina Garten. It only takes a few ingredients, but wow, the flavor! Her sauce utilizes red wine to deglaze the onions and garlic before adding in the tomatoes, so the sauce has a rich depth of flavor with a little sweetness from the wine. I prefer a red Moscato wine to cook with, but her recipe calls for Chianti. Whichever you choose, it will be one of the best, easy recipe for homemade marinara. If you have 5 things on hand, you are always ready for a good meal…Olive oil, Parmesan Regianno, onions, garlic, and canned San Marzano tomatoes.

Well, bye for now. I have an eggplant Parmesan that is spilling over in the oven. Something told me to use a bigger casserole dish. Some of the cheese has oozed over the sides, but I’ll just play it off and say I was going for that rustic look. ;-).

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