The excitement of summer is almost gone for most of us..with about a month to go..but here in Italy the excitement of summer has been re-ignited with the anticipation of the summer’s biggest crescendo.. August the 15th. A holiday that dates back to the Ancient Romans.
August the 15th reminds us that summer is almost gone and this is her last hurrah!! to celebrate the brilliance of the sun..the food.the sea, the beach ,the carefree relaxed feeling..
Today starts the anticipation with just a week to go..the beach has become one big block party..children running all over..people congregating in small groups everywhere on the beaach, taking a passeggiata from one beach to the next while taking in the fresh sea air and meeting friends along the way… talking, laughing,sharing recipes, making plans for the 15th..smiles abound everywhere..it is as almost as if Christmas is coming in the Summer..well of course watermelon has replaced panettone (at least for this for season).
One of our favorite dishes to bring to the beach is Eggplant Parmigiano. It travels well, we can leave it in the glass dish it is baked in, slice it before taking it to the beach. Bring some paper plates, napkins, plastic forks, one spatula. And no need to worry about refrigerating leftovers..there are never any leftovers.. Slice up a watermelon for dessert, a bottle of mineral water and you have a great meal
2 lbs fresh eggplant-cleaned, sliced
1 lb scamorza cheese
1 lb red ripe plum tomatoes
3 leaves fresh basil
2 cloves garlic
1 fresh carrot, cleaned,peeled, cut in two
1/4 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1 slice fresh onion
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Filet fresh tomatoes. In saute pan, place 3 tblsps olive oil, whole garlic cloves, slice fresh onion. Saute for 2 minutes, place in tomato pieces, carrot pieces let simmer for 20 minutes.
In glass baking dish, layer, eggplant slices with tomato sauce, sliced scamorza cheese, sprinkle of parmigiano cheese. Top with scamorza cheese and grated parmigiana reggiano cheese and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs,. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven, when cool, slice, and it is ready to go-wherever your lunch will be.