Growing up, my mom was a master at what we referred to as “the dinner rotation.” You know what I’m talking about: Mom could cook several things really well, and those meals were rotated on a weekly basis—chicken, pasta, and rice being the primary contenders.
The meal that mom is known for, eggplant parm, ironically never made it into the weekly rotation. I suspect that time was the biggest issue: my mom prepared her eggplant the way one of her closest Italian friends taught her: a painstaking process of slicing, salting, draining, pressing, (in between paper towels and the heaviest books we had in the house), dredging, breading, frying, layering, and baking. Eggplant parm was reserved for special occasions in my house: birthdays, holidays, celebrations—because it was literally a labor of love.
Can you think of a better definition of comfort food?
When I was thinking about what to make for dinner this week, I only had to see the leftover eggplant from this weekend’s pizza to make up my mind:
Easy Eggplant Casserole
(Quicker, and healthier, than Mom’s. Not the same as the original, but still pretty darn good!)
- One medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2 in. rounds
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- about 3/4 C bread crumbs
- mozzarella cheese (anywhere from 1/2 – 1 C)
- 1 C tomato sauce
- Preheat oven to 350*. Spray 8 x 8 baking pan with cooking spray.
- Dip eggplant rounds in egg, then dredge in bread crumbs.
- Arrange layers in baking pan: eggplant, sauce, cheese, repeat.
- Bake casserole for about 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Mom would usually serve her eggplant with a side of pasta, but I went the panini route:
Consider me comforted.
What’s your favorite comfort food?
I’m a sucker for anything carb-y: pasta, bread, you name it, I love it.