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I needed to use up the last of the greenhouse tomatoes that were ripening on the counter. Instead of canned tomatoes, I just added chopped fresh tomatoes. A delicious cheesy dish for a dark, early winter’s evening.

Eggplant Parmesan

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

½ cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 can diced tomatoes

1 small can tomato paste

2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

1 teaspoon dried basil leaves

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 large eggplant

2 eggs, slightly beaten

½ cup dry breadcrumbs

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1- ½ teaspoon salt

1/3 cup olive oil

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté the onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and sugar and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon. Red. Cover and simmer, for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees (F). Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking dish. Wash the eggplant, do not peel. Cut crosswise into ¼ inch slices. In a shallow dish combine the eggs with 1 tablespoon of water. Mix well with a fork. In another shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs with the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Dip eggplant slices into egg mixture, coating well. Then dip into crumb mixture, coating evenly. In a medium skillet, add 1 tablespoon of the oil and sauté eggplant slices a few at a time, until they are golden brown and crisp on both sides. Add more oil as needed.

Arrange half of the eggplant slices in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the top half with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Top with half of the mozzarella cheese, then cover with half of the tomato sauce. Arrange the remaining eggplant slices over the tomato sauce. Cover with the half of the tomato sauce and mozzarella slices. Sprinkle the top with the rest of the Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until cheese melts and the top is browned. Serves 8.

You may make this dish ahead and freeze it after baking. To serve, bake the frozen dish at 350 degrees (F), covered, for 45 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer.

Lucy napping on the deck while I cooked this dish…