Yum

Summer casserole of eggplant slices coated in pesto and cheeses, layered with tomato sauce lasagna-style for easy serving.

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

One of the things I’ve most enjoyed about blogging is getting to know people I may never meet.

We food bloggers share recipes, comment on each others blogs, and support each other through more social media channels than I thought I’d ever join. Along the way, we offer up pieces of our lives with anyone who stops by our kitchens. I know who had surgery this year, whose kids are sick, and who just celebrated a birthday or anniversary. I know about Wendy’s car that broke down in Texas, Liz’s lashing from a reader with strong opinions, and Cathy’s new job. When Joan’s daughter was hit by a car on her way to school last spring, fellow bloggers took over her blog to keep it going until she could return. Regular updates were posted, and we all breathed a sigh of collective relief when we learned her daughter would recover.

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

We’re a community. We warmly embrace new bloggers, share what we’ve learned, and help make what’s largely a solitary pursuit much less lonely, sometimes by banding together in a group project. I blog with the Sunday Supper group, the Secret Recipe Group, and have just joined up with a group of local bloggers to create the Bay-Area Farmer’s Market Potluck blogging group.

 

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

We divided into two groups (gluten-free and vegetarian), signed up for a course to prepare, and headed to our local farmer’s markets to purchase our ingredients.

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

We’re thinking of doing this four times a year to celebrate either stars of the season, or forgotten fruits and vegetables that may get nudged aside by more plentiful varieties.

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

This eggplant parmesan casserole is a perfect dish to take advantage of fresh produce from your local farmer’s market, and is a favorite of mine for a casual dinner for friends. I can make all the components in advance, and tuck into the refrigerator. Then I just assemble and bake before the guest arrive, and serve it with garlic bread and a big salad. Even Carnivorous Maximus has eaten this without any meat in sight! (Gasp.)

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

A Few Cooking Tips

The Chunky Roasted Tomato Sauce can be made a week ahead and stored. In fact I like to always have some of this sauce around for quick pasta dinners with some chickpeas.

I use a combination of beefsteak and Roma tomatoes, particularly this time of year. The Roma tomatoes add a rich, meaty texture to the juicy beefsteaks.

Stack the eggplant slices on top of each other when assembling this lasagna-style casserole. This makes it far easier to serve and creates natural serving sizes for a crowd.

Fontina cheese makes a fabulous substitute for mozzarella cheese if you have some on hand. But don’t feel like you need to grate it up. I’ve laid thin sheets of it in the layers and it’s worked beautifully!

Eggplant Pesto Parmesan Lasagna

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 35 minutes

Yield: Serves 4 - 6

Ingredients...

    Chunky Roasted Tomato Sauce
  • 3 lbs beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 lb Roma tomatoes
  • 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • 2 sweet red bell peppers
  • 1/4 c pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1/2 t dried red pepper
  • 2 t balsamic vinegar
  • Eggplant Pesto Parmesan
  • 1 1/2 large eggplant (about 1 pound each)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 6 T your favorite pesto sauce
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 c cornflour
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 2 c shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 c Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 t dried oregano
  • 1 T extra-virgin olive oil

Directions...

    Chunky Roasted Tomato Sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the tomatoes in half and arrange on the baking sheet, cut side facing up. Drizzle with olive oil, and lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for one hour.
  2. Toss the garlic cloves in olive oil and add to the baking sheet. Add the red peppers. Roast for another 30 minutes.
  3. Cool, slip the peels from the tomatoes and garlic, and coarsely chop the peppers. Combine with the remaining sauce ingredients in a medium bowl, crushing the roasted tomatoes with your hands.
  4. Eggplant Pesto Parmesan
  5. Arrange three small bowls on a work space and slice the eggplant into 1/2-inch rounds. Whisk the eggs together with the pesto in the first bowl. Stir together the flours, salt and pepper in the second bowl. Combine half of the cheeses, breadcrumbs and oregano in the third.
  6. Heat a griddle over medium heat, and lightly oil the pan.
  7. Dip an eggplant slice into the flour, followed by the egg-pesto mixture, and finally the cheeses. Place on the griddle. Repeat with enough eggplant to fill the griddle (I can fit around 8 slices of various sizes on mine). Cook for 5 minutes per side, until the eggplant becomes soft and the surfaces are browned and crisped. Stack and repeat with the remaining eggplant. For a 8 1/2" X 12" baking pan, I typically use 16 slices.
  8. (At this point, the tomato sauce can be poured into a jar and the eggplant parmesan carefully placed in ziplock baggies. Tuck into the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.)
  9. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Arrange the eggplant, tomato sauce and remaining cheese in layers as in a lasagna, spreading a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 8 1/2" X 12" or 9" X 13" baking pan. Next arrange a layer of eggplant parmesan slices and sprinkle with 1/3 of the remaining cheese. Repeat the order, starting with half of the remaining tomato sauce, a final layer of eggplant slices, half of the remaining cheese, and the remaining tomato sauce.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes. Add the remaining cheese on top and bake another 15 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
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Now go check out the rest of the posts from our Bay Area Food Bloggers group (it has TWO desserts), and go visit your farmer’s market!

Farmer’s Market Bay-Area Bloggers Menu!

Salad

salad w dressing

Entrée

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

Eggplant Pesto Parmesan Casserole by The Wimpy Vegetarian

Side Dish

Summertime Vegetarian Stirfry 009a

Summertime Vegetarian Stir-Fry by Peanut Buter and Peppers

 

Desserts

ZeBot Tomato Cake Close-Up

Striped Heirloom Tomato Spice Cake by Zebot’s Kitchen 

peachy-keen-outtake

Peachy Keen Ice Cream Sandwiches by Fork and Swoon

 

If you’re interested in the gluten-free menu presented yesterday by our Bay-Area Food Bloggers group, go check out these posts!

Appetizer

Mozzarella & Tomato Caprese Skewers by The Heritage Cook

Salad

Warm Green Bean and Tomato Salad by Creative Mama, Messy House

Side Dish

Loaded Mashed Cauliflower by Nosh My Way

Entreé

Roast Pork Tenderlion with Mushroom Marsala Sauce and Roasted Potatoes by Crazy Foodie Stunts

Dessert

Vanilla Bean Infused Cheesecake with Peaches in Dark Rum Sauce by Fearless Dining

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27 Responses to “Eggplant Pesto Parmigiana Casserole” Subscribe

  1. apuginthekitchen July 17, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    Delicious recipe Susan and I love your Farmers Market blogging group, we should do that here in NYC. Everything you said is so true, most of us have never met face to face but we know more about each others lives, families, tastes, etc,,.. than possibly people they have met. We are a close knit group and I truly love sharing and meeting (virtually) others of like mind.
    Your eggplant parmigiano is wonderful. BTW, I am enjoying your hubby’s blog also.
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..Black And White Orzo With Roasted Cherry Tomatoes And Ricotta SalataMy Profile

  2. Rebecca July 17, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    Oh. My. Just bought tomatoes for canning today and am getting ready for my Moussaka extravaganza. Think I may have to add this one in, too! Will report on how it tastes with that wonderful farmers’ market pesto. :)

  3. Jane, The Heritage Cook July 18, 2014 at 12:38 am #

    Oh Susan, you are talking The Artist’s language with this dish. He is tugging on my arm begging me to make it for him, LOL! This is a total winner and absolutely beautiful!

  4. Choc Chip Uru July 18, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    You are making me rethink any diet I have ever taken, this cheesy goodness of a casserole looks absolutely delicious! :D
    I’ll keep telling myself that the eggplant will keep me healthy!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..CCU Undercover: Embossed Rolling Pins @ Bezalel Art ShopMy Profile

  5. Erika July 18, 2014 at 7:14 am #

    Uh YUM. I love so much about this post.

    1) Bay Area farmer’s market potluck group sounds like SO MUCH FUN!!! I would probably eat wayyyy more than my fair share if you brought this to a potluck where I was present ;)
    2) These photos are gorgeous–they look straight out of CookingLight or something to me!
    3) if your husband ate this happily, that gives me so much hope for getting Erik to love this–can’t wait to try making it for him!
    4) Do you have any suggestions for what to do with a load of fresh basil? You’re one of the recipe creators I look up to, so thought I’d ask :) I’m going to make pesto and probably bruschetta, but other than that, I’m racking my brain to think of really summery dishes that use basil!
    Erika recently posted..Gooey Chocolate Oat CakeMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian July 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm #

      Wish you were still here in the Bay Area – you would love this group!!! And thanks so much for your comment on the photos. You’re someone I really look up to for photography!! So basil. Pesto is always good as you know. If you have a ton, you could make basil oil with it too. I love having herbed oils around for vinaigrettes in the summer. And it makes a great gift. You can also dry some for fresh dried basil. I have a heap of oregano and that’s what I’m doing with it. Then I got some cute little jars and I’m giving it away to friends as a little gift when we get together for dinners.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Eggplant Pesto Parmigiana Casserole: #Farmer’s Market DinnerMy Profile

  6. Jennie Schacht July 18, 2014 at 10:58 am #

    Looks great! I have a meat lover at home whom I’m quite certain would be perfectly satisfied by your meatless masterpiece!

  7. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers July 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

    Oh my gosh your lasagna looks out of this world! It is just beautiful!! I love all of the flavors you have in the dish!
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers recently posted..Summertime Vegetarian Stir FryMy Profile

  8. Beth (OMG! Yummy) July 21, 2014 at 10:40 am #

    What a lovely recipe Susan. I adore eggplant parmesan and appreciate all of your tips and tricks such as making the sauce ahead of time. Those kind of suggestions make attacking this kind of dish so approachable for anyone who is time-challenged or experience-challenged.

    Great to meet you through this virtual dinner party and look forward to a real meet-up sometime soon and our next online gathering as well.
    Beth (OMG! Yummy) recently posted..Blistered Tomato, Corn, and Arugula Salad for a Farmers’ Market Dinner PartyMy Profile

  9. Maureen July 21, 2014 at 10:10 pm #

    I love eggplant and this casserole would suit me perfectly!

  10. cheri July 22, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    HI Susan, does this mean you are in San Francisco? love that place. Looks like you keeping pretty busy. Anyway this casserole looks delicious, very clever to add pesto sauce.
    cheri recently posted..Raw Corn Summer SaladMy Profile

  11. Jean | DelightfulRepast.com July 25, 2014 at 12:10 pm #

    Susan, this is similar to the way I make eggplant parm, but the pesto and kalamata olives you use would definitely kick it up a notch! Will give it a try next time!
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com recently posted..Apricot Upside-Down CakeMy Profile

  12. Robin Gagnon July 26, 2014 at 4:20 am #

    This looks so much better than the grilled eggplant I made last night for dinner.
    Robin Gagnon recently posted..12 Fun Crafty Kids ActivitiesMy Profile

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