Well, I had my first goof on the blog! I accidentally posted this a couple of Fridays ago as those of you on the email list may have noticed. I meant to save it as a draft and clicked the “publish” button instead. Poof! It was out on the internet with an email alerting all of my subscribers. But I wasn’t quite ready for it to be out there, so I took it down to finish tweaking the recipe and to complete the post. So now, please enjoy my baked eggplant with roasted red peppers post.
I have a weakness for creamy food with lots of cheese but let’s be honest, it’s not very healthy. I’ve worked on taking a lot of the comfort foods I love and making them healthier. This recipe is a play on eggplant parmesan. You can make it as easy or as complicated as you want with the option to buy pre-made tomato sauce and jarred roasted red peppers. When I make this, I usually double the recipe and freeze one for later.
Baked Eggplant with Roasted Red Peppers
Prep Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 8 servings
2-3 medium-sized eggplant, cut into rounds, 1/3-inch thick
3-4 roasted red peppers
4 cloves garlic
2-3 cups of tomato sauce
12-16 oz. sliced fresh mozzarella
3/4 to 1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil, roughly torn into pieces
salt and pepper to taste
Salting the eggplant: Cut the eggplant into rounds, approximately 1/3-inch thick. Arrange a layer in a large colander and sprinkle lightly with salt. Repeat layering and salting until all the rounds have been salted. Allow them to rest for 30 minutes to an hour. Then rinse the slices and pat dry, removing as much water as possible.
Roasting the peppers: Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and put the broiler on high. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place the whole peppers on the baking sheet and put them in the oven. Check the peppers after about five minutes. Once the skin is black or partially black rotate them one quarter. Repeat this until the peppers are black or nearly black. Remove from the oven, place them in a bowl and cover it with aluminum foil. Place the bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. The peppers should be cool enough to handle. Peel the skin off and remove the seeds. If you are not using the pepper immediately, place the peppers in a jar. You can cover them in olive oil if you like. The peppers will keep in the refrigerator for about a week.
Alternatively, you can use store bought roasted red peppers.
While the peppers cool, roast the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Toss the eggplant slices with the garlic and olive oil, and spread on a lightly oiled sheet pan. Bake until the eggplant begins to brown, 10-15 minutes, flipping the slices if they are browning on the bottom but not the top. Remove and let cool.
Assembling the dish: Lower the oven to 400°F. Arrange a layer of eggplant slices on the bottom of the baking dish (9″x13”). Arrange a layer of red peppers on top, followed by fresh basil and the fresh mozzarella. Spoon about 1 cup of the tomato sauce on top. Arrange a layer of eggplant slices and red peppers on top. Top with a little more tomato sauce, about 1 cup. Finish with a sprinkling of Parmesan. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.
If you froze the dish, allow it to thaw completely, either in the refrigerator or on the counter, before following the baking instructions above.