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A Sunday Night's Dinner: Eggplant Towers


I do clip recipes, although I rarely use them.  I’m more of an experimenter.  I throw some stuff together and cross my fingers.  But the other night, it was time to make something a bit more planned out.  I had clipped a recipe from an old Gourmet magazine for eggplant towers, perched atop a mixture of bread and egg, fried to golden deliciousness.  It was pretty much an eggplant parmesan, but a little bit more trendy looking, with some extra greens and a fried platform.

The recipe started out by making a simple tomato sauce.  Having just made the Scarpetta sauce on Friday, I was totally prepared to get into another tomato sauce.  I sweated some garlic and onion, added a puréed can of tomatoes, added some chopped basil, and let that simmer down.  Cake walk.

Next up was roasting some eggplant slices.  Pretty basic stuff, really.  Seasoned, brushed with oil, and baked for about a half hour at 450, the building blocks of the tower were another easy step.

Next up, sauteing some arugula and basil together, representing the only green component in the dish.  Again, pretty easy stuff: heat up oil with garlic and crushed red pepper flakes, add basil and arugula until it’s wilted, and bob’s your uncle.

Last up, the egg and breadcrumb foundation of the whole tower.  The roasted eggplant tower would rest upon a fried patty of goodness.  Shaved parmesan, parsley, basil, egg, and breadcrumbs, mixed together and fried up in oil.  How could that be bad?

Umm, herby pancake?

Much Better

The last step was putting it all together.  On top of the foundation, a thin layer of tomato sauce was laid down, with a slice of mozzarella cheese on top (see how it’s like the eggplant parmesan?), then a slice of eggplant, then some more sauce, then another slice of eggplant, then a bit of the wilted greens, then another slice of eggplant, then some sauce, and finally a little sprinkling of parmesan.  Think we’re done?  No way!  Pop that into the oven.  It’s time for the mozzarella to get its melt on.  And there it is.