This eggplant tomato casserole provides a nice combination of textures and is excellent when served with chicken or lamb.
1 medium eggplant, sliced
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Sprinkle eggplant slices generously with salt on both sides; place on paper towel, and let stand 30 minutes. Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet, and saute garlic for 1 to 2 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, salt, and pepper and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix sugar, crumbs, and cheese in a bowl. Rinse eggplant slices in cold water and pat dry. Roll each slice in crumb mixture, then saute until tender in remaining olive oil. Place a layer of eggplant in a greased 2-quart casserole. Cover with tomatoes and crumb mixture; repeat layers until vegetables are gone, finishing with a topping of crumb-cheese mixture. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until top is browned. This eggplant tomato casserole provides a nice combination of textures and is excellent when served with chicken or lamb.