- 3 medium eggplants, ends trimmed and cut into 1/4 - 1/2-inch rounds (about 3 pounds total)
- 1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing (or, cooking spray)
- Kosher salt
- Italian seasoning
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, finely chopped (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
- 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 28 ounces canned, crushed tomatoes, plus their juices
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1⁄2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped or chiffonade
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus 1 tablespoon to finish
- 8 ounces low-moisture mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced (not packed in water)
- 1 cup Margot's Morsels Primo Parmesan (crushed) or Margot's Morsels Crazy Crumbs Parmesan
- 1-2 tablespoons of finely-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or fresh oregano, if available
To avoid a soupy casserole, place rounds - the equivalent of 1 eggplant at a time - in a colander and sprinkle them with about one tablespoon of salt, making sure to coat both sides. Allow the eggplant to rest and “sweat” for about 30-60 minutes. Mine took about 45 minutes. Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt. Place the eggplant rounds in one layer on paper towels, and pat the tops with more paper towels to thoroughly dry.
Preheat your broiler and position a rack 4 to 6 inches from the broiler. Line two rimmed baking sheets with either aluminum foil or parchment paper.
To start brush both sides of your prepared eggplant slices with some oil and season lightly italian seasoning and pepper. Arrange the eggplant in a single layer on the baking sheets and broil one sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through, until the eggplant is somewhat browned. Turn over the slices and broil for 2 minutes, just until they begin to dry out with a hint of browning on the surface. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
While broiled eggplant slices cool, heat half the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and dried oregano; cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly, until fragrant.
Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices; increase the heat to medium-high and cook just until the liquid starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low and cook partially covered for 20 minutes to form a slightly thickened sauce. Stir in the vinegar and basil, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Turn off the heat.
Spoon just enough of the sauce to thinly coat the bottom of your 9-inch square baking dish or pan. Add a single layer of the broiled eggplant slices, using about a third of them and overlapping slightly as needed. Spread a third of the remaining sauce over the eggplant, followed by a third of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and half the mozzarella. Repeat with another third of the eggplant, sauce and Parm and then the rest of the mozzarella. Finish with the remaining eggplant, sauce and Parm.
Stir together the morsel crumbs and the fresh parsley or oregano in a medium bowl. Scatter the mixture evenly over the top of the dish. Bake (at 375 degrees, middle rack) for 35 to 40 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling, the top is golden brown and the center is hot.
Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.