Baked Eggplant with Onion and Fresh Tomatoes


1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes
1 pound low-moisture mozzarella, cubed
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon peperoncino flakes
l large onion, sliced into thin rounds
6 plump garlic cloves, crushed
Bread Crumb Topping:
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 pinchs Kosher salt
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, shredded (for serving- optional)


Trim the stem and bottom ends of each eggplant and peel. Slice the eggplants crosswise into 1/2-inch rounds. Lightly salt on both sides and layer them in a colander, set in a bowl. Let the rounds drain for 30 minutes then rinse them, and pat dry with paper towel.
Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Trim stem end of tomatoes and cut in half crosswise. Squeeze the halves over a strainer set in a bowl, scraping out and catching the seeds in the strainer and collecting the tomato juices in the bowl. Cut the tomatoes into 1/2 inch chunks, put them all in a bowl and toss with the cubes of cheese, chopped basil, peperoncino, the remaining 1 tsp. salt and 4 Tbsp. of the olive oil.
Brush the bottom and sides of the baking dish with about 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Lay the onion rounds in the bottom in one layer, scatter the garlic cloves over the onions, then layer the eggplant slices in an even layer, overlapping if necessary. Scatter the tomato and cheese evenly on top of the eggplant, and drizzle the collected tomato juices over all.
Put the bread crumbs and all the dry seasonings in a bowl and toss to blend, then drizzle over them 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil and toll well. Sprinkle them evenly over the top of the eggplant, tomato and cheese layer.
Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 30 minutes or until the eggplant is tender when pierced with a knife and the bread crumb topping is browned and crisp.
Let rest for 20 minutes before serving.


1.0 servings


Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 5:17am


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