This is not the "simplest" or quickest recipe in my repertoire, but it is soooooo yummy, it is *definitely* worth the extra little bit of work and time, one of our absolute family fave's (it's like lasagna, but with eggplant instead of noodles).
Eggplant (or Zucchini) Parmigiana.
This is the authentic Italian Deal people, straight from my Mother in Law in southern Italy... (In redneck prairie terms this might be called Vegetable Lasana)
If you want to make this in a super simple store bought (redneck) manner you can substitute ready mix pancake batter for the batter, cottage cheese for the Bechamel (white) sauce, and store-bought pasta sauce (which we abhor but to each his own) for the tomato sauce.
2 med eggplants OR zucchini
2 small-med eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tbsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2 large cans of tomatoes (or 5 cups fresh), mashed or diced up fine with the juice in the food processor
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic (or tspns Johnny's garlic powder)
1/2 tbspn salt
1 tbspn oregano
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour or cornstarch (I've never tried cornstarch, but my recipe says it can be used)
2 1/2 cups milk
Salt and Pepper
3 cups shredded thin sliced ham (the kind you would buy to make sandwiches with/ just shred it into finger size pieces)
3 cups mozarella cheese
Sautee your garlic in the oil in a medium saucepan. Mix your tomato sauce and seasonings in then bring to boil before lowering to a minimum simmer, leave simmering for 20-30 min.
Slice the eggplant or zucchini into 1/4 inch oval slices, if using eggplant salt and layer in a collander and "weight" them to pull (salt) and push (weight) out the slightly bitter juices. Zucchini doesn't require this extra step. Let eggplant stand for 10 minutes then rinse, pat dry on paper towel.
While eggplant is sitting, prepare your batter by whisking all ingredients together.
Coat eggplant/zucchini in batter, pan fry lightly in olive oil for one minute per side on medium heat. I use two pans, to speed this process, it's the time consuming aspect of this recipe.
In between flipping and switching zucchini/eggplant, grate your mozzarella and shred your ham and prepare your Bechamel (melt butter, stir in flour till it forms a ball with the butter, slowly add milk stirring all the while over med/low heat, whisking out any lumps, add salt and pepper, stir until thickened, remove from heat).
Preheat oven to 375; spray or grease a large lasagna pan and pour about 1 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of the pan with a ladel). Then continue layering in the following pattern; (using 1/3 of each item in each layer)
zuchinni/eggplant; tomato sauce; ham; bechamel sauce; mozzarella.
Repeat process two more times.
Bake in oven for approximately 45 minutes covered and then 15 minutes uncovered.
We eat this with a simple tossed salad.