In the Kitchen: Baked Eggplant

Discover Newport brought us Chef Joe Simone from Simone’s, to show us how to make their Baked Eggplant.


For the Eggplant

2-3 medium eggplant
kosher salt
Flour for dredging
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying


1. Cut the eggplant into generous 1/4” thick rounds (I dont like to peel the eggplant!) and sprinkle each side generously with kosher salt.

2. Arrange the salted eggplant slices in a colander (set in a bowl to catch the juices),
weigh the eggplant down with a plate and a can of tomatoes or whatever and store in your fridge overnight. If you are in a hurry let the eggplant drain for 2-3 hours on your kitchen counter. This is important!

3. When the eggplant has drained pat each slice dry on paper toweling. Dredge each
piece in flour and then, working in batches, fry in a hot skillet of olive oil (don’t fry too fast—you want the eggplant to be creamy in the center!) until golden brown.

4. Remove to a rack or paper toweling to drian/cool. You could do this one day in

For the Tomato Sauce

This recipe is very basic and can easily be doubled, tripled etc. You can freeze it for up
to 1 month.


1 heaping tsp slivered fresh garlic (about 3 cloves)
Scant ¼ cup olive oil
1 cup ripe fresh tomatoes, cut up
1 can whole peeled pear shaped tomatoes—I like organic San Marzano Tomatoes
1 tsp salt or to taste
Generous pinch sugar to taste, optional


1. Add the garlic and olive oil to a large pan and set over med-high heat.

2. When the garlic begins to sizzle add the fresh and canned tomatoes with all of
their juices and stir well. Season to taste with salt and sugar and bring to a
strong simmer.

3. Adjust heat to maintain a medium simmer and cook stirring frequently for 20-30
minutes until the tomatoes have completely softened. Do not let the pan scorch!

4. Remove from heat and pass through a food mill. Allow to cool and refrigerate for
up to 3 days or freeze for up to one month.

To assemble the eggplant

Cooked Eggplant
Tomato Sauce
Grated Parmigiano about 3 tbsp
Grated Attwell’s Gold Cheese (or mozzarella) about 3 tbsp
Fresh Basil chopped, about 2 tbsp

1. Preheat oven to 400F

2. Spray a baking dish with pan release and add about 1/2 cup tomato sauce to the bottom.

3. Using tongs dip individual pieces of fried eggplant in the sauce and add to the prepared baking dish.
Once the first layer is complete sprinkle with both cheeses and a bit of basil.

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