Melanzane in Pirofila

Baked Eggplant

3 round eggplants
5 ripe round tomatoes
1 bunch basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bunch parsley
3 ounces green olives
2 cloves garlic
1 dried red pepper
1/3 cup olive oil salt, and pepper to taste

Slice the eggplants, salt the slices, and let them sit in a colander for about an hour.

Peel one tomato, mince it, and mix into it 4-5 tablespoons olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, and the red pepper, crumbled.

Pit the olives and mince them with the parsley, basil, and garlic. Add this mixture and the oregano to the minced tomato.

Pat the eggplant dry, sprinkle it with salt again, and let it rest for two more hours.

Preheat the oven to 345 degrees F.

Slice the remaining tomatoes, salt them, and set them in a strainer to drain. Grease a small, fairly high sided oven proof dish and stand the eggplant slices in it, alternating them with the tomato slices. Spread the sliced vegetables with the tomato paste mixture, sprinkle them with a few drops of olive oil, and garnish them with a couple of leaves of basil. Bake the vegetables in the oven for about a half an hour.

Serves 4.

Note: if you use the sweeter eggplants available in oriental markets, you will at the most need to salt the eggplant for an hour.

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