purchased at one of my favourite local bakeries, the Night Oven. This is a quick and easy version of an Italian classic.
1 big eggplant (or 2-3 little ones)
gobs of olive oil
7-8 Roma tomatoes
1 sprig fresh basil, chopped (or 4 baby springs)
1 cup mozzarella or other melt-y cheese, grated
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Slice eggplant about 1/4 inch thick. In a skillet, heat a generous dousing of olive oil on high but not smoking. Fry eggplant slices quickly, turning to lightly brown both sides. Remove to paper towel. Repeat, adding more oil, until all the eggplant is cooked. This can be done ahead of time.
Chop the tomatoes. Turn skillet heat to low, toss in tomatoes and cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in half the basil. Cook until it's nice and sauce-y. This can be done ahead of time.
In a baking dish, spread half the tomato sauce. Layer half the eggplant. Sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Dot with basil. Add another layer of tomato sauce-eggplant-mozarella. Sprinkle the top with parmesan.
Bake at 375F for 30 minutes. Optional: Turn on broiler and lightly brown the top.