by Michelle

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that has to be cooked properly or it is nasty!

When I owned Sister’s, I used to arrive early on Friday mornings to get a jump on the antipasta prep for the weekend. I was standing at the stove working on a new caponata recipe, when a local chef walked in to see what I was cooking. She informed me that eggplant was her favorite vegetable “provided it’s cooked properly”. Well naturally I was confident that I knew what I was doing…I owned the business! I gave her a sample and she simply smiled and said, “hmm…don’t give up” Yikes! not good to be the chef of an Italian gourmet deli and offering customers “nasty eggplant”…

I developed the following recipe after pounds and pounds of eggplant, buckets of olive oil and a lot of sampling. It is delicious!


6 servings 

Preheat oven 375*F

2 large eggplants, sliced crosswise ½ inch thick

2 tablespoons coarse salt

1 cup olive oil

2 cups Marinara*

1 cup Balsamella*

½ lb mozzarella, thinly sliced

½ cup Reggiano-Parmigiano, freshly grated

Salt eggplant on both sides…place eggplant in colander for 1 hour…brush salt off eggplant and pat dry with paper towel 

Heat oil in large skillet over medium…fry eggplant in batches, turning once until golden 4-5 minutes total…add more olive oil if necessary

Place cooked eggplant on paper towel

Spread a thin layer of Marinara in bottom of shallow 9 inch baking dish 

Layer alternately with eggplant, Marinara and mozzarella…ending with a layer of  Balsamella

Sprinkle Reggiano-Parmigiano over the top and bake 20 minutes 

*recipes to follow





 2 tablespoons butter

 2 tablespoons flour

 ½ cup whipping cream

 ½ cup cereal cream

 Salt, pepper and nutmeg

 Bouquet garni : 1 sprig thyme, 1 sprig parsley, 1 bay leaf, 2 peppercorns, 1 slice onion and ½ clove of garlic tied in cheesecloth

 Melt butter til foaming…add flour and whisk together…cook over low heat 2 minutes stirring constantly  DO NOT LET ROUX BROWN

Combine creams and bring to just before a boil…pour in a steady stream into roux whisking constantly until mixture is smooth

Add ½ teaspoon sea salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper and the bouquet garni. Place pot in water bath* and simmer ½ hour or until thick…

 Remove the bouquet garni

A water bath is a larger pan of hot water…make sure that the water is half way up the side of the pot




                                                                                                                                              makes 2 cups 

28 ounces best quality diced plum tomatoes

¼ cup olive oil

4 cloves coarsely chopped garlic

¼ cup sliced fresh basil

¼ cup chopped flat leaf parsley

½ teaspoon sea salt

cracked pepper to taste 

Heat oil …gently saute garlic…do not brown 

Add herbs, salt and pepper…saute 30 seconds…add tomatoes 

Bring to boil…reduce heat…simmer til thick