First thing first…
Homemade bread crumbs
italian or french bread (loaf) (I used organic wheat for this batch)/olive oil/garlic powder/oregano/italian seasoning/basil leaf/black pepper/sage/cookie sheet
preheat oven to 350/break up and shred bread nice and small till crumbly onto cookie sheet
add seasonings/drizzle some olive oil (about a tsp) /combine everything (the breadcrumbs are pretty time consuming – took me about 15-20 minutes to pull loaf apart into the size I needed it)
Throw into oven, but check frequently till bread gets nice and crispy (during the crisping process, occasionally break up the bigger pieces of bread till breadcrumby size) take out & cool – get those fingers working through the bread crumbs and crush till bread crumbs are well, bread crumbs 🙂
okay – keep that oven preheated to 350 – we are on to the good stuff now
here we have all the ingredients for the fried/baked eggplant and the tomato sauce
first we will deal with the fried/baked eggplant
your homemade breadcrumbs/ italian dressing/eggplant
cut eggplant about 1/2 inch thick/dip into italian dressing/then breadcrumbs & then fry with olive oil/make sure you are turning eggplant every once and awhile till both sides are fried up and then ready to add to the cookie sheet to bake for about 20-30 minutes (side note: eggplant breaks easily so be careful- you’ll see)
Top is pan fried/bottom is the end result after baking/so yummy!
Now onto the Homemade Tomato Sauce
you’ll need: garlic cloves/onion/red & green pepper/any variety of tomato will do just fine (I am making a big batch so I am using greenhouse grown tomatoes) for a smaller batch use plum – spices you will need on hand are: basil,oregano, italian seasoning blend, pepper, garlic powder!
Add olive oil to pan
chop up garlic so its nice and chunky – same goes with the onion and pepper
add garlic and onion to pan and start sauteing
season as you wish while garlic/onion combo start to turn a bit brown
now it’s time to add the pepper – stir/season some more if you’d like (I do!)
okay make sure you keep stirring – we want to brown the veggies a bit not burn them
get those tomatoes ready to be cut thick and chunky and after that is all squared away add to the already started veggie mix in pan – re-season and stir
the juices from the tomatoes are going to start pouring out so you might want to start mashing away at the tomatoes (or not – it’s really up to you) season it up!
The consistency of this sauce is up to you (if the sauce becomes too thin – add a little (about a tbsp) whole grain flour to a tiny bowl and add water till it becomes soupy/slowly add to sauce while stirring and it will thicken right up
This sauce is unbelievable and when you add it to the eggplant – Wowzers!
So this is the finishing touch! For me and my husband, I added a little something to make the taste explode more
slice up some vegan cheddar and sandwich it between two pieces of the eggplant and bake till cheddar becomes soft
Use your best judgement – plate it – top it with sauce and you are good to go…..
This recipe is very time consuming – but the fun thing is you don’t have to make everything together/ use the sauce recipe … the breadcrumb recipe and even the eggplant recipe for other dishes – either way it’s all so savory……