Cooking With Rania: Eggplant Recipes

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — This week in the Pittsburgh Today Live kitchen, Rania Harris is making the most of summer produce before it disappears from our gardens and farmers’ markets.

Eggplant Caponata

Ingredients:

  • 1/4-cup olive oil
  • 2 small eggplants, diced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 -15 ounces can Italian tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon imported Italian tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pitted and halved Kalamata olives
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons capers
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped toasted walnuts
  • 4 tablespoons golden raisins soaked in 2 t red wines for 1 hour

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet and sauté eggplants and onion for about 5 minutes. Combine with remaining ingredients and cook, uncovered, about 10 minutes over very low heat. Stir every so often to prevent burning or sticking to bottom of skillet. This dish should not be overcooked. The vegetables should remain crunchy. May be served hot or at room temperature, piled in a crock and surrounded by crackers or slices of fresh baguettes.
  2. It may be spooned generously on lettuce leaves to be served as a salad course

Watch Part 2 —

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients:

  • 2 small eggplants (about ¾ pound each)
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons of whole milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups fine, dried bread crumbs
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Directions:

  1. Thinly slice the eggplants crosswise diagonally. Place a large wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle both sides of each eggplant slice with salt. Set the slices on the rack, and let stand for about 30 minutes. Wipe the slices with paper towels to plot the moisture and remove excess salt.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle a large rimmed baking sheet with the oil. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk. In a second shallow bowl, stir together the flour, oregano, and pepper. In a third shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs and ¼ cup of the Parmesan. One at a time, coat the eggplant slices with the flour mixture, shaking off the excess, and then dip into the egg mixture, coating evenly and allowing the excess to drop off. Finally, dip into the bread crumb mixture, patting gently to help it adhere. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the eggplant slices over, and continue to bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes more. Let cool until easy to handle, 5-10 minutes. Leave the oven on.
  3. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of the prepared dish. Layer half of the eggplant slices, overlapping them to fit on top of the sauce, and then spoon 1 cup of the sauce evenly over the slices.
  4. Top with half of the mozzarella, and sprinkle with ¼ cup of the Parmesan. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan. Bake until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes, and then serve hot.

Serves: 4-6

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