The charm of eggplant parmesan is undeniably euphoric. There is never any left over, thereby hazing the following morning over by the kind of deep metaphysic sadness that comes from realizing how fast the good times pass in our lives.
Please note, this eggplant parm takes a very long time to create. You’ll first need to make a basic tomato sauce. I add a dash of red pepper to the sauce to give the ulimate dish a little jazz. As the sauce is simmering, you can slice 3 big eggplants, toss them with salt and sit them in a collander to drain. This takes a while, and unfortunately never really works like you hope it will since the eggplant slices at the bottom absorb the water from those on top. After a 1/2 hour or so, I lay the slices out on a kitchen towel and pat them dry.
Now bread and fry the eggplants in batches, remember, flour then egg then breadcrum/parmesan. Fry in olive oil.
Grate a pound or so of Gruyère.
Assemble the masterpiece like a lasagne, sauce then eggplant, then sauce, then cheese, now repeat.
Bake for 45min or until bubbling and rich brown. I make this well before people come over and leave it in the oven with the oven off but still warm for at least an hour. This dish becomes mellower after a bit of rest. But then who doesn’t. I’ve intended these instructions to be more like suggestions and hope you’ll create an eggplant parm that mirrors your deepest self.
The intense, yet ephemeral pleasure is enhanced by knowing that you worked all day to make the eggplant parm, yet nothing compares to the silence at the table as all your guests enter into a collective trance.