Egg­plant parmi­giana with crum­ble

This is a speedy recipe that can be pre­pared in 20 to 25 min­utes, per­fect for a week­night.

Central Otago Mirror - - OUT & ABOUT - To serve To serve, Tomato pizza sauce

1 egg­plant, cut into 1cm rounds 1 cour­gette

cup finely grated parme­san cheese

cup panko bread­crumbs 2 tea­spoons olive oil

200g tomato pizza sauce (store­bought or see recipe be­low)

2-3 hand­fuls baby spinach leaves, chopped

Pinch of chilli flakes (op­tional) 100g fresh moz­zarella cheese, thinly sliced 0.5cm

2-3 slices fo­cac­cia bread (or your favourite crusty bread)

cup picked basil leaves, roughly torn

Pre­heat oven on grill to high. Po­si­tion your oven rack in mid­dle of the oven.

1. Heat a driz­zle of oil in a medium (prefer­ably oven-proof) fry-pan on medium-high heat. Sea­son egg­plant with salt and pep­per. Fry, in batches, for about 2 min­utes each side or un­til golden brown, add a lit­tle ex­tra oil if needed. Set aside and re­move pan from heat.

2. While egg­plant is cook­ing, pre­pare the cour­gette crum­ble. Grate cour­gette into a medium bowl. Add parme­san cheese, panko bread­crumbs and olive oil and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Mix to com­bine and set aside.

3. Mix pizza sauce and spinach to­gether in same pan used for egg­plant. Even out with a spoon and sprin­kle with chilli flakes (if us­ing). Evenly lay egg­plant over sauce and top with slices of moz­zarella. Sprin­kle over cour­gette crum­ble.

4. Grill for 5–8 min­utes with oven door closed or un­til cheese has melted and bread­crumbs are golden brown. Check reg­u­larly to avoid burn­ing.

5. Warm bread in oven, be­low the egg­plant parmi­giana, for five min­utes

di­vide the egg­plant parmi­giana be­tween plates, scat­ter over torn basil leaves and serve bread on the side for dip­ping.

Heat 2 ta­ble­spoons olive oil in a medium pot on medium heat.

Cook 1 brown onion, diced and 2 cloves gar­lic, finely chopped for 3-4 min­utes, un­til soft.

Stir through cup tomato paste, 1 x 400g can chopped toma­toes and 1 tea­spoon sugar.

Sim­mer, un­cov­ered for 10-12 min­utes, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally un­til sauce is thick and jam-like. Sea­son to taste with salt and pep­per.

Stir through cup fresh sliced basil (op­tional). Store leftovers in an air­tight con­tainer for up to 3 days.

Use a fry-pan about 24cm in di­am­e­ter. If you don’t have an oven-proof fry­pan, use a sim­i­lar sized bak­ing dish and bake for a fur­ther 3 min­utes.

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