Eggplant and tomato season usually happens in August. But for some reason, my tomatoes and eggplants are just now ripening consistently. I grow heirlooms, thanks to Wasatch Community Gardens. Their more than 100 varieties of tomato plants bring throngs out every year for their annual plant sale.
While tomatoes are the main event, the sale also features other non-tomato heirlooms as well. I love shiny purple eggplants, but my favorite variety for flavor and texture is Casper White. My small plant produced two small eggplants, and I augmented it with one I found at the Farmers Market to put together this simple, satisfying Eggplant-Tomato Bake.
This recipe comes from my go-to cookbook, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. Egglant-Tomato Bake has become one of my summer staples. It makes a great weeknight meal because it goes together really quickly. I generally serve it with a simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing.
- 1-1/2 pounds eggplant (I like to use slender Casper White or Japanese eggplant)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 ripe tomatoes, cut in chunks
- 2-3 ounces feta cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (I used a tablespoon of fresh marjoram instead)
Put It Together:
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Slice the eggplant in half and cut criss-cross patterns into the flesh.
- Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Place eggplant slices in the skillet, cut sides down and fry over medium-high heat until golden. Turn slices over and fry for a few minutes. Remove slices from the skillet, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Wipe out the pan. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet, then add the tomatoes. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until it breaks down into a chunky sauce. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Place eggplant slices in a baking dish, cut sides up. Crumble feta cheese over the eggplant slices, then top with tomato sauce and oregano or marjoram.
- Cover with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes.
- Remove from oven. Slice and serve.