Eggplant Hasselback


I originally heard about this way of preparing eggplant from my sister-in-law, Debbie. Later I found this recipe. It calls for a cup of marinara sauce, therefore I categorized it as “Meatless.” However I happened to have some of my homemade meat sauce in the freezer when I made this, so I used that. The amount of sliced tomato, basil and cheese you need depends on the size of the eggplant.

1 eggplant
1 cup marinara sauce
tomato, sliced
fresh basil
mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).

Cut eggplant crosswise, keeping it connected at the bottom. Use chopsticks to prevent your knife from cutting through.

In a baking dish, place marinara sauce and spread to cover the bottom. Place the eggplant directly on the sauce. Slice the tomato and mozzarella into thin slices. Alternate tomatoes, basil, and cheese in each eggplant slice.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil, and cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes until eggplant is tender. In a small bowl, combine panko, cheese, salt, and pepper. Place the panko mixture on top of the eggplant and bake uncovered for another 5 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden brown. Cut into your desired size pieces.

I served this over spaghetti aglio e olio which is simply spaghetti tossed together with olive oil that has had a lot of sliced garlic simmered in it. Two tips: only cook the garlic until it’s slightly golden. It tastes bitter if it gets too dark; and do not rinse the pasta. The un-rinsed pasta will pick up more garlicky flavor. Adjust seasoning. Sprinkle with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese.

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