Eggplant in Marinara with Roasted Green Tomatoes: Seasonal Recipe

by Amber on July 18, 2011

Who’s the executive chef at my house? My garden! I allow her to dictate my meals. Today, she gave me eggplant—lots of gorgeous, deep purple, glowing chubby eggplants. And she did not disappoint.

Eggplant in Marinara with Roasted Green Tomatoes

When your garden hands you eggplants, you make eggplant marinara. I love the combination of eggplant with tomato, whether it’s in a spicy Indian masala, or an Italian marinara. Eggplant and tomato were meant to be together.

Right now, the only tomatoes my garden is giving me are tiny cherry tomatoes. I’ve got several fruits nearing ripe on the vine, but they aren’t quite there yet. Thankfully, tucked neatly in my freezer, my very last bag of frozen tomato sauce from last year’s harvest glistened in its frozen glory, beckoning me to use it now so it can soon be replaced with fresh sauce. I was willing to cash in this last precious bag knowing my garden will soon allow me to replenish it.

And so dinner began: with plump globe eggplants and petite ichiban eggplant freshly harvested, and a bag of heirloom tomato sauce. I had also recently trimmed my tomato plants to allow them to breathe, which meant trimming away some branches that might otherwise bear fruit. I plucked the green tomatoes from the cut vines and decided to toss them on top of melted mozzarella to complete my summery dish. A handful of newly snipped basil, and voila! Dinner.

Eggplants (and other veggies) freshly picked from the garden.

I allowed eggplant parmesan to inspire this dish. I love breaded eggplant! But I don’t deep fry anything, so I adapted the method and created equally crisply breaded veggies using my oven.

This recipe is quick and delicious. Make extra! It gets eaten quickly!

Eggplant in Marinara with Roasted Green Tomatoes Recipe

Ingredients:

2 globe eggplants, cut in 2-inch thick slices
2 ichiban eggplants, cut in half
2 Tablespoons salt
¼ cup corn meal or polenta
1 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon Italian herbs
½ Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 eggs
3 cups marinara sauce (fresh, homemade is best), divided
1 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
2 small green tomatoes, sliced thinly
1 Tablespoon fresh basil leaves, thinly cut
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Fresh Garden ingredients: eggplants, green tomatoes, basil, tomato sauce, herbs
Farmers’ Market ingredients: olive oil, eggs
California-made ingredients: mozzarella
Supermarket ingredients: corn meal, bread crumbs, black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place the cut eggplant into a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. The salt will pull some of the liquid out of the eggplant and help soften them. After 30 minutes, rinse the eggplant thoroughly under cold water to rinse away most of the salt.

Combine the corn meal, bread crumbs, black pepper and Italian herbs in a shallow dish. Salt to taste.

Crack the eggs into a second shallow dish and whisk.

Dredge each slice of eggplant through the egg, coating thoroughly on all sides. Next, dredge the eggplant through the bread crumb mixture, coating thoroughly on all sides. Place coated eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with olive oil. Continue until all the eggplant have been coated and are placed in a single layer on the sheet.

Eggplant are breaded and baked, not fried.

Bake in oven for 12 minutes. Remove from oven and flip each slice of eggplant over. Return to oven and bake 12 minutes more, or until golden brown and the eggplants are soft when poked with a fork. Remove from oven.

Place one cup of marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Next, place the breaded eggplant in the baking dish in a single layer. Cover the eggplant with the remaining marinara sauce. Top the sauce evenly with the mozzarella cheese and the sliced green tomatoes. Bake in the 425 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese and sauce are beginning to bubble.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the fresh basil and olive oil. Serve.

Yield: 6-8 servings. This is a light dish. If you’ve got a hungry crowd you could serve this with garlic bread, or increase the amount of sauce and serve it over cooked pasta.

A light supper of eggplant in marinara with roasted green tomatoes.

Other Eggplant & Tomato Recipes:

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Soup from Simply Recipes

Tomato Eggplant Gratin from Talk of Tomatoes

Roasted Eggplant & Tomato Panino from Vegan Yum-Yum

 

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Kazia Jankowski July 19, 2011 at 9:06 am

You’re so lucky to be able to cook directly out of your garden! This looks excellent :)

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admin July 19, 2011 at 11:09 am

Thank you, Kazia! I feel lucky. It’s a real delight to have a garden. And I love my farmers’ markets, too. I always find something there that I’m not growing. I hope you enjoy this dish. :)

Reply

Lynn July 20, 2011 at 8:25 pm

What an amazingly beautiful basket of veggies Amber. Like the green tomatoes on top of the dish- extra twang?!? Nice purple bells- I just harvested my first chocolate bell, a new item for my little garden. Look forward to more of your garden stories!

Reply

admin July 20, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Thanks, Lynn! I like the touch of color from the green tomatoes. The taste really pales with the rich tomato sauce. Thanks for stopping by! Let me know how you like the chocolate bell.

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