discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Thursday, 6 March 2014

not another tomato recipe.....

Can you even stand the thought of yet another blog with a tomato recipe?  I have at least another 2 or 3 posts in draft form that I might just leave for awhile until the tomato buzz dies down.  Here in the south of Victoria we are coming into  our own in the vegie garden finally!! 
We have had bowls and bowls of tomatoes coming in and along with my  sourdough baking, yesterday alone we had smashed tomatoes on toast for breakfast and lunch ~ let me tell you that divine sour dough toasted and  drizzled with good extra virgin olive oil, sea salt & freshly ground pepper, a sprinkling of basil and mint - I truly was in heaven. 
Our eggplants and zucchini have been abundant too.  This 'parmigiana di melanzane' or eggplant parmigiana is not a thing like a chicken parma, but more like a lasagna if you do have to compare it to something.  It is a wonderful way to use eggplant's up and turn them into a main star.  
Eggplant Parmigana from Italian Food Safari Cookbook
for the eggplants
2-3 large eggplants or 4-5 smaller ones
plain flour to coat
4 eggs beaten well
olive oil
for the tomato sauce
a good glug of olive oil
2-4 good quality italian sausages (optional)
1 onion finely diced
2-3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 750ml jar of passatta or 12 very rigpe tomatoes peeled and chopped
salt & pepper
around 10 fresh basil leaves and the same of fresh mint
shaved parmesan cheese
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c. Heat a good amount of olive oil in a fry pan.  Slice the eggplants around 1cm thickness.  Coat in flour and then dip into beaten egg, shaking off the excess and fry in the hot but not smoking oil, until golden on each side.  Drain on paper towel.  Do this in batches, better to not over crowd the pan as you want them to sizzle in the oil.
  2. If you decide on adding the sausages, now is when you would squeeze the meat out of the sausage casing and make into meatball shaped sizes.
  3. Heat some olive oil in another pan and fry the meatballs on all sides.  Drain on paper towel.   Add the onions, garlic and fry on a medium heat, you don't want to burn the garlic.  Saute for a few minutes and then add the tomato and bring to the boil.   Cook until lightly thickened, around 5-7 minutes.  Season to taste and add half the basil.
  4. Start the layers with a few spoons of sauce in the bottom of your casserole/lasagna dish and then start the layering ~ eggplant, sauce, cheese, meatballs, herbs, sauce, cheese, eggplant, sauce, cheese, meatballs, herbs, sauce and finally cheese.  If you have loads of tomatoes, add a layer of just freshly sliced tomatoes to a layer as well.
  5. Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is all golden and gooey.

Using a good quality Italian sausage and turning them into meatballs is a kitchen speedsters trick I love to use. 

The coating and frying of the eggplant gives them a totally 'meaty' texture that surprises most meat eaters when you tell them it's actually eggplant.  That coupled with the meatballs, this is a delicious way of eating these summer garden goodies.

Are you still relishing in the summer tomatoes (pardon the pun!) or are you full to pussies bow with them all?

Ciao, Jan.


  1. Hehe well as someone that just bought two punnets of deliciously sweet tomatoes, I'm definitely not sick of tomato posts!v :D

    1. well maybe just for you I might post another soon!! :D Jan x

  2. That all looks cherry tomatoes are finally ripening. Won't have as many as you have but still it's a thrill to grow your own. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

    1. It is a thrill isn't it Kathy! Your tomatoes looked lovely x

  3. looks good! always great to use up the excess!

  4. thanks for stopping by, it's never boring using up excess home grown produce :D x


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