I developed this recipe one summer when my husband planted eggplant and tomatoes. I was thrilled when this special casserole won high honors at a national beef contest.—Celeste Copper, Baton rouge, Louisiana
- 1/3 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian stewed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 pound ground beef
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- Additional canola oil
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- Minced fresh parsley
- In a large saucepan, saute onion, celery and garlic powder in oil until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Discard bay leaf.
- In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In a shallow dish, combine flour and remaining salt and pepper. Place buttermilk in another shallow dish. Dip eggplant in buttermilk, then in flour mixture.
- In a large skillet, cook eggplant in batches in 1/2 in. of hot oil until golden brown on each side; drain.
- Place half of eggplant in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Top with half of Parmesan cheese, beef and tomato mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining eggplant, Parmesan cheese, beef and tomato mixture.
- Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley. Yield: 8 servings.
Originally published as Beefy Eggplant Parmigiana in Casserole Cookbook 2001, p45
Medium-Bodied Red Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.
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