We New Englanders live for the summer months when all the area CSAs and farm markets products are local, fresh and available. Perfect for a vegetable lover and cook. Here is my problem, I get carried away by the bountiful beauty at my local Farmer’s Market going overboard with my purchases. I just can’t help myself, I’m like a kid in a candy shop! What to do when I return home with my bags bursting with all kinds of produce; Cook up all the veggie casseroles that just pop up in my brain. This week I was loving the large local tomatoes along with the deep purple eggplant. I picked up locally grown onions and fresh local mozzarella to finish creating my Tomato Eggplant Bake with Mozzarella. I just added olive oil with my home grown herbs for a flavor bursting veggie dish, quick, easy and delicious.
Farm Fresh Tomato Eggplant Bake with Mozzarella
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced, salted*
1 large vadalia onion, thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 tablespoon basil, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a large 13″by10″ baking pan. Layer eggplant on baking pan. Drizzle with herb olive oil, then top with onion, drizzle herb oil, followed by 1/2 of the slice mozzarella. Continue to layer with tomato, remaining oil then the last of the mozzarella. Sprinkle with finely chopped basil. Bake for 45 minutes until cheese is melted and starting to brown. I then like to broil for a few minutes just so the cheese is bubbly.
*To salt eggplant, peel and cut thinly. Place it in a colander, sprinkle generously with salt (don’t worry, you’ll be rinsing most of it off before you cook it) and let it sit for about an hour. Before using, thoroughly rinse the eggplant and pat it dry.