I have a nickname, that I use for myself.
No one calls me LazyDaisy – I’d actually be surprised if many knew about it. I call myself LazyDaisy, see, when I act particularly lazy. My Ruzzle account is called LazyDaisy, and so is my avatar on Plants vs Zombies. To remind me that what I’m doing is not productive and I shouldn’t be doing it. In my opinion, it works.
This is my lazy side’s recipe for the traditional Italian recipe for parmigiana. Unfortunately there’s no cutting corners when it comes to cooking the aubergine, or eggplant, but there are other shortcuts. Here are mine.
So. As I said, eggplants need to be cooked. And to make them perfect, you have to make them sweat. Although I’m not quite sure that’s the correct word, I am sure it gives the right idea.
Get a plate, and spread the slices so that they don’t overlap. Sprinkle coarse sea salt over them, then cover with kitchen paper and spread another layer of raw eggplant slices. Sprinkle with salt and cover with kitchen paper and repeat until you don’t have any eggplant left. Next, place another plate over your pile of eggplant slices and weigh the whole thing down with something heavy. Such as your salt bowl!
What the salt does is bring out the water from the eggplants, and as the water comes out so does the bitter taste that eggplants sometimes have. The weight on top serves to speed up this process. With the salt and the weight, you’ll only have to sweat them out for an hour or two.
Now. Remember to rinse the slices before you fry them, because if not they’ll be inedibly salty (yes, I did it once).
So rinse the slices, pat them dry and ease them into hot, frying oil. When they’re soft, they’re ready.
While the eggplants are frying, dice the onion (I used spring onion, but shallots would be great too) and lightly cook it with the garlic in a little bit of olive oil.
When they start to soften, add the tomato puree, tomato paste, half a glass of water, salt, pepper and any nice herb you like: oregano and thyme are the best and most traditional.
Let it cook for about 20 mins or until the eggplants are ready.
Here comes the cutting corners part.
Right. put a layer of eggplant slices. Then a layer of processed cheese slices. Then your hot hot tomato sauce. The sauce goes over the cheese because it will melt the cheese nicely. Repeat until you’ve finished all the ingredients. The last layer should be the tomato sauce.
Et voila! Your fast and furious Parmigiana is ready to be enjoyed in front of the latest series you’ve decided to watch!