This recipe makes delicious use of those gorgeous eggplants and squashes that are in abundance in the summer markets. The dish also freezes well so you can have a great taste of summer during other seasons, too.

2 medium eggplants (Chinese or Japanese preferred)
2 medium zucchinis (or yellow squash)
Fine sea salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
1 large can (28 ounces) whole or chopped tomatoes (San Marzano preferred)
Freshly-ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup parmigiana reggiano cheese, finely grated
1 Tablespoon finely-chopped fresh parsley

You will also need:
Large cooling rack
Skillet (I use a 10” cast iron pan)
Medium saucepan
Baking dish (I use an 8”x12” oval-shaped copper pan, but a 9”x9” square baking dish or a 10” round baking dish should work fine, too.)

Wash and dry the vegetables. Slice them lengthwise into thin slices, no more than 1/4” thick. Place the slices on a cooling rack and salt them on each side. Let them sit for about 30 minutes.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the saucepan. Add the smashed garlic cloves. Saute for about a minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Break up any large tomato pieces with a spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the heat.

Rinse the eggplant and zucchini slices and pat them dry. Dredge them lightly with flour.

Generously coat the bottom of the skillet with olive oil. Fry the eggplant and zucchini slices in shifts until browned on both sides and cooked all the way through. (You may need to add a little more olive oil to the pan for each batch.) Drain on paper towels. Season each with salt and pepper.

Now you are ready to assemble. Spread a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of your baking dish. Place a layer of the cooked eggplant slices on top. Spread another thin layer of sauce on top. Add a layer of zucchini, followed by the mozzarella cheese. Add another layer of eggplant. Spoon the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle the parmigiana reggiano cheese on top of that. Scatter the parsley on top.

Now you are ready to bake. (Or, at this point, you could cover the dish tightly and either refrigerate it or freeze it for later.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (approximately 180 degrees Celsius). Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly and brown.

If refrigerating, remove the dish from the refrigerator about 10 minutes before baking. If freezing, take out the night before and let it thaw in the refrigerator.

Serve with a side salad and some crusty bread.

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