Frozen Overs – Eggplant Parmesan

31 May

My husband loves eggplant.  His mother used to make some sort of eggplant sandwich filling when he was a kid and he’s always loved it.  So I make a lot of eggplant parmesan, moussaka, and ratatouille for us, all of which freezes beautifully.  If you tell my husband to ‘just go pick something easy out of the freezer’, it’s almost always the eggplant Parmesan or moussaka that finds its way to the kitchen.  I always roast or grill the eggplant to avoid using a lot of oil and I never peel the eggplant. It’s not haute cuisine, but my husband loves it, so it works for a busy weeknight.

I buy square Glad OvenWare pans to store my Frozen Overs and I usually make up four pans at a time.  I only buy eggplant when the price is reasonable (should be under $1.50 each).  Late last summer, eggplant was $5.00 each and I just had to be patient and wait for the price to come down.  If I can spare the time to do a LOT of work, I can get a really good case price at Daisy Mae’s Market, my local produce company.  Be warned that a case of eggplant is a LOT of eggplant, so you need to be prepared to cook it all within a few days.  I also buy prepared marinara/pasta sauce when it is on sale and stock it for later use.  I have a special cabinet in the basement that’s just for these buy-ahead things like marinara and canned tomatoes. 

Eggplant Parmesan (makes four 8×8 OvenWare pans), each pan makes 4 servings

  • 5-6 medium eggplants, rinsed and sliced into 1/2″ thick steaks
  • 1 1/2 – 2 large jars marinara sauce
  • Shredded Mozzarella
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Cajun seasoning (if desired – this will add salt, but I do like the red pepper kick it gives this simple dish)If you are making this as a vegetarian dish, please check a list of cheeses for vegetarians. This is a permanent link in my blogroll to the right now. Cheeses made with rennet are not appropriate for vegetarians, but there are soy substitutes and also some brands making Parmesan (albeit not Parmagiano Reggiano) that give a similar flavor without the rennet.

To griddle:  Heat a large cast-iron griddle.  Spray the eggplant ‘steaks’ with olive oil spray (or lightly brush with olive oil), sprinkle with seasoning and grill until brown on the outside and semi-soft on the inside.

To roast:  Preheat oven to 450F.  Spray a baking pan with pan spray.  Place the eggplant in individual slices on the tray and brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning.  Roast until browned and the inside is semi-soft.

While the eggplant is cooking, spoon a bit of sauce, just to coat, in the bottom of each OvenWare pan.  Put a single layer of eggplant on the top.  Top with more sauce and cheeses.  Continue cooking eggplant steaks and layering pans until each pan has about 3 layers of eggplant.  Finish with cheese on top.

To cook it – defrost on 50% power in the microwave for 15 minutes, then bake at 350 F on a cookie sheet until bubbly and browned.  The plastic pan requires a cookie sheet underneath.  If you used another type of casserole dish, you can skip the cookie sheet.  Alternatively, you should defrost this for at least 36 hours in the refrigerator before baking.

In our two-person household, a pan of Frozen Overs will make Loved Overs, but they are truly loved, and they don’t last long.

4 Responses to “Frozen Overs – Eggplant Parmesan”

  1. Kara May 31, 2012 at 10:23 pm #

    Herb loves eggplant parmigiana. I love that this version isn’t fried…that way it is very low in weight watchers points and very filling. I will be making this soon. I really love your new blog, by the way. I am going to start using most of your tips so we can eat well during the week.

    • Mrs. U. May 31, 2012 at 10:32 pm #

      Eggplant is like a big oil sponge! Let me know how this works for you – if you roast it in a hot (450F) oven with pan spray top and bottom, you can cut back the olive oil further. Let me know how it goes!

  2. Kara June 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm #

    The verdict is in…delish!! Thank you for sharing. Herb thanks you too.

    • Mrs. U. June 3, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      Good – everyone gets what they want! (Or close enough.)

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