Never quite follows the recipe. Doesn't really measure. Tastes with her fingers. Somehow, it always works.

A multitasker

Posted: August 22nd, 2009 | Author: johanna | Filed under: Johanna | 23 Comments »

*I have not forgotten about the dinner party. I promise. Recipes coming soon.

Eggplant Parm, revisitedOn Thursday, I did a “make-do” dinner. I had several things in the fridge that needed to be used up before they went bad, and no real idea what of them we were going to eat. I had roughly a whole eggplant left over from prior uses, as well as several tomatoes, both regular red and tiny heirloom, some red onion, garlic, mozzarella and parmesan. I decided that eggplant parm was in order,but not in the typical way.
I’ve re-imagined Eggplant Parmesan a couple times, with varying results. This time, the eggplant rounds were dredged in egg and a combination of flour, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, oregano, and for a special twist…. cornmeal!! This lent a gorgeous crunch and beautiful flavor. I suggest it, highly. After the eggplant was fried, it was drained and eventually broiled with slices of mozzarella on top. I toasted thick slabs of Whole Foods rosemary bread, and topped the toast with grated parm, homemade tomato sauce, and the halved eggplant slices.

What I really want to talk about, here, is the tomato sauce. I love this sauce. I would like to make it again right now. And tomorrow night. And the next. I would bathe in it, if I could. But instead, I’ll share it with all of you, now:

Fresh 15-Minute Tomato Sauce
1/2 Red Onion
2 Cloves garlic
4 Vine tomatoes
Parmesan Cheese
An assortment of tiny heirloom or other tomatoes.

Heat up some olive oil in a skillet – only 1 tablespoon or two – and mince the onion and garlic. Put them in the skillet, salt, and toss a bit, so they sweat some of their flavor out. Then, chop the 4 tomatoes and add them to the skillet, and turn down the heat to medium-low. Grab your potato masher, and smash the tomatoes up so they’re a lovely pulpy mess. Add about a quarter-cup of water, some salt, pepper and dried oregano, and let it simmer covered for a while. While this is happening, chop up your tiny tomatoes, small/bite-sized pieces. When a lot of the water has evaporated out of the skillet of tomatoes, add a handful of grated parmesan and stir, adding more water if you need to, depending on your tomato situation. This should all take about 15 minutes. Tops. Seriously.
When you’re ready to eat, add the tiny tomatoes you’ve chopped up, stir, turn off the heat, and busy yourself with serving. The tiny almost-raw tomatoes will get heated through by the warm sauce, the sauce will still be lovely and chunky and taste very fresh, and you won’t need to add sugar to it or anything to calm down the acid of the tomatoes because the cheese has done that.

Yuuuummmmmmm

This sauce is amazing. Seriously. I’ve eaten it on thick slices of toast drizzled wtih olive oil and dusted with parmesan twice in the past 16 hours. It’s nearly gone, now, and I’m thinking about eating it cold, with a spoon. If you added more water and simmered this a little gentler, it could be a soup. If you didn’t mash the tomatoes the way I did, you’d have something chunkier, which could be a salsa-esque topping for fish or chicken or meat. Basically, try this sauce. Do it your way, add red chili flake, or basil or red wine vinegar or whatever the heck you want. But try it this way first. I think you’ll love it. Especially on toast. With olive oil and parmesan. MMMMMyum.


23 Comments on “A multitasker”

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