When we first moved to Cedar Brook, NJ back in 2007, the development we moved into had been constructed on a farm field which was devoid of trees. For 27 years we had lived in the New Jersey Pine Lands and although I had vegetable gardens they weren’t very successful due to lack of sun. The first thing we did was fence our back yard in. The second summer in the house I created a garden which I refer to as the “bowling alley” garden against the back fence. It is 100′ X 4′ and it is mind-boggling large for weeding. When I finish weeding, its time to start over again. I planted strawberry plants, mint, chives, blackberry, eggplant, bush beans, zucchini, squash, tomato, corn, bell peppers, cucumber, lots of different herbs and flowers. The first summer of the garden, the one eggplant produced easy 20 eggplants, and I actually had never even tasted an eggplant prior to the first recipe I found online and made. Fortunately for DH and I, we loved the flavor. However, 20 eggplants within one week was way too many. I gave some of them away to our one neighbor, and my MIL who at that time lived in Haddonfield. I also had joined Food.com and began creating my own eggplant recipes which I posted to that site. That single plant is actually how I became involved with creating, posting, reviewing others’ recipes and photographing food.
- 1 medium-sized eggplant
- 3 tablespoons butter (plus/minus)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 ounces mozzarella cheese (plus/minus)
- 16 ounces marinara sauce (or your favorite)
- 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese
- (optional) MIL doesn’t like the eggplant skin, in which case I use a sharp paring knife to remove it.
- Slice eggplant cross wise into desired thickness (I cut it about 1/8″ thick but it is not critical).
- Shred cheese on a box grater (set aside).
- In a skillet, add butter, saute eggplant slices for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Placing them on a plate until all of the eggplant pieces are sautéed.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Use a paper towel and grease a 12″ x 9″ with the olive oil.
- Add a layer of sautéed eggplant slices to the baking dish.
- Add a layer of cheese.
- Cover cheese with marinara sauce.
- Repeat directions 6, 7, 8 until there is no more eggplant. (Marinara sauce should be on top).
- Sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes.
Preparation Time: 20-30 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes