Parmigiano di Melanzane e Carciofi
(Eggplant and Artichoke Parmesan)
Small Eggplants 2 Lg. Eggs - whites only 1 Lg. Egg - whole 12 Small Artichokes 1 28 Oz. Tomatoes - Italian plum 2 Cloves Garlic - sliced thinly 1 Cup Parmesan cheese - freshly grated 2 Cup2 Olive oil - Extra Virgin Q.B. Salt and Pepper
Slice the unpeeled eggplants as thinly as possible. Layer them in a colander and salt each layer of them. Leave for at least an hour to allow the juices to drain. At the end of this time, rinse the salt off or them and squeeze gently to remove as much water as possible.
Beat the 2 egg whites and the egg yolk with a little salt and pepper. Heat 1 cup of the olive oil in a shallow oven proof pan in a 450° oven. This will only take a minute or so, and needs to be watched to keep the oil form smoking. Remove the pan from the oven. Quickly dip a few slices of the eggplant into the egg mixture and then gently place them into the hot oil. Fill the pan with a single layer of eggplant. Oven roast them until they are golden on each side. When they are cooked to a golden hue, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and place on kitchen paper to drain. Continue this process until all of the eggplant has been cooked. After the eggplant is oven roasted, dip the artichokes in the egg and then pan roast them for 10 minutes. Remove and set on kitchen paper to drain.
While the batches of eggplant are roasting, sauté the chopped garlic in 3 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add the can of tomatoes. If they are chopped tomatoes, simply boil gently for 20 minutes. If they are whole tomatoes, cut them with a scissors into small pieces. At the end of 20 minutes, remove the sauce from the burner and let cool . Use a hand blender or food processor to reduce the tomatoes to a coarse puree. Set aside.
Meanwhile peel the artichokes until only the light yellow leaves remain. Cut off the top of each artichoke leaving about 1 inch of the bottom, trimmed of leaves. Immediately place each artichoke in a lemon-water bath to keep them from darkening. When all the artichokes are cleaned, cut each one in half and remove any choke that is found. If using small artichokes, the choke should be minimal. Return to the bath until all chokes are removed. Now slice each half vertically in 1/8 inch slices. Return to the lemon-water bath.
Oil a 9 x 12 inch casserole pan with a bit of olive oil. Put a ladleful of tomato sauce in the bottom. Layer eggplant slices on the sauce so that no holes are evident. Add a couple of tablespoons of tomato sauce over the eggplant, then sprinkle 2-3 teaspoons of Parmesan cheese on this. Lay 1/3 of the artichokes on the sauce and then another layer of eggplant. sprinkle a little olive oil on this layer, Alternate eggplant-sauce-cheese-artichokes-olive oil until the pan is filled. The last layer should be eggplant, covered with a thin layer of sauce. Reserve the remaining tomato sauce, and keep warm. This will be used when serving the Parmesan.
Bake in a 375° oven for 30-35 minutes, then, without moving the casserole to the top rack of the oven, turn the broiler on and heat an additional 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and let sit for 5-6 minutes. Serve hot sprinkled with a few tablespoons of tomato sauce and a handful of grated Parmesan cheese.
Last updated on:07/08/99 01:01:59 AM