Eggplant Parmigiana & Italian Bread

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I love teaching classes at the “Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op.” It’s such a great community that genuinely cares about eating healthy food, supporting local ethical farmers and providing/educating the community.

I am doing a series of vegetarian courses. I want to share things that are fairly simple to prepare with natural ingredients.

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Last week we did, Eggplant Parmigiana, Italian Bread and Salad.  Here is what we prepared. A great group and everyone enjoys working together.

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Summer Eggplant Parmigiana

Ingredients

Extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggplant, about 2 pounds
Salt and pepper
2 cups basic tomato sauce, recipe follows
2 whipped eggs with 1/4 cup water
1 bunch fresh basil leaves, chopped (or tsp dried basil)
1 bunch fresh oregano, chopped (or tsp dried oregano)
1 pound mozzarella
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup of all purp flour
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs,

Directions

Mix basil, oregano, parmigiano-reggiano, flour and bread crumbs, salt and pepper to taste in large bowl. Set aside.

Mix eggs with water in separate bowl.

Slice eggplant into medium slices . Dip eggplant into egg mixture, then coat both sides in flour mixture.

Cook eggplant over medium heat in skillet with olive oil. Set cooked slices on paper towel when finished. Continue until  you have cooked all of the eggplant.

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Prepare a casserole dish. Lightly coat bottom of casserole dish with sauce. Place layer of eggplant, layer of mozzarella cheese, layer of sauce. Continue layering.

Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes. We just want the cheese to melt.

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Serve with whole wheat angel hair pasta and additional sauce if desired, fresh italian bread and salad.  *see bread recipe below

Homemade Italian Bread

7 1/4-7 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages fast-rising active dry yeast
2 1/2 cups water (110 degrees)
1 tablespoon salt
yellow cornmeal
1 slightly beaten egg white

Directions:

1-In large mixer bowl, combine 3 c of flour and the yeast.
2-Combine the water and salt.
3-Add to the dry mixture.
4-Beat at low speed for 30 seconds, scrapping the sides constantly.
5-Beat at high for 3 minutes.
6-By hand, stir in enough of the remaining flour to make a very stiff dough.
7-Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and very elastic (15-25 minutes).
8-Shape into a ball.
9-Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough.
10-Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (about 1 hour).

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11-Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
12-Divide the dough in half.
13-Cover with the bowl and let rest for 10 minutes.
14-Roll each half into a 15×12 inch rectangle.
15-Beginning at the long side of the rectangle, roll the dough up tightly, sealing as you roll.
16-Taper the ends of the loaf.
17-Grease 2 baking sheets and sprinkle them each with cornmeal.
18-Place each loaf diagonally seam side down, on baking sheets.

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19-Make diagonal cuts 2 ½ inches apart (1/8 to ¼ inch deep) on the tops of the loaves.
20-Add tablespoon of water to the beaten egg white and brush over the top and sides of the loaves.-
21-Cover and let rise in a warm place till double (about 20-45 minutes).
22-When ready to bake, place a large shallow pan on the lower rack of the oven and fill with boiling water.
23-Bake at 375° for 20 minutes, brush with the egg white mixture.
24-Bake 20 minutes longer.
25-Cool on a rack.

Tips: Raising tip: In a cold oven, place the dough on the top rack.
On the rack beneath, place a pan filled with very hot water then close the door.

This will create a warm, draftless environment for raising your dough.
Bueno Appetito!

If you are interested in learning more about the “Roanoke Natural Foods Co-Op” here is the link http://roanokenaturalfoods.com/

American wife to this Indian life. I am a right-brained, American woman married to a left-brained Indian man. I love art, design, up-cycling and multiple DIY projects at the same time. He loves simplicity and order. Follow us on this cultural collision as I combine our personalities and cultural differences through art, design, food, and raising kids. When I am not working on a craft or project, I co-host a lifestyle/entertainment show called "Daytime Blue Ridge," on our local NBC affiliate, WSLS 10. www.DaytimeBlueRidge.com

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