I usually ignore eggplant on the produce shelves, even though I like variety of vegetables on my plate. My husband on the other hand would eat green beans until the cows come home, but I managed to slowly open his palate to other veggies. Today I gave eggplant another chance. I made this simple Italian recipe as a side dish, but let me tell you, it can stand on its own as a light lunch or supper. For vegetarian version, omit ham.
Heat olive oil; add garlic and sauté on medium heat until it smells fragrant, about 1 minute. Add eggplant and stir until they have absorbed the oil.
Reduce the heat, cover and simmer until eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat; add ham, cheese, 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoon parmesan.
Beat the egg with basil and pinch of salt. Pour over eggplant mixture and fold gently to combine all ingredients.
Grease baking dish and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs. Transfer eggplant mixture to the baking dish. Mix remaining parmesan and breadcrumbs and place on the top of the eggplant mixture. Top with olive oil and bake on 375 F degrees for 45 minutes until golden brown.
Let stand 15 minutes before serving. I think it tasted even better the next day, but I love leftovers.