My Dad became an at home chef when he retired from the Navy after 30+ while we were living in New Orleans, though he has always enjoyed cooking, and grills the best burgers and flank steak to this day.
Dad found himself interested in many things upon retirement, however, none caught his attention like cooking. He religiously watched Earl Peyroux’s PBS cooking show that was syndicated by WSRE from Pensacola, and Julia Child for inspiration, and each day went to the kitchen to create.
My mother was thrilled to be on the other side of the stove, and we both were all delighted to be Dads personal taste testers.
One of the recipes Dad created was Long Pond Eggplant. We have enjoyed this recipe as a main dish since 1984, but it could easily be a side, and a vegetarian dish by removing the bacon. I also enjoy it warmed on French bread as a sandwich the following day.
1 large eggplant
mozzarella or Swiss cheese
2 Fresh ripe tomatoes sliced 1/4 inch thick
16 oz pack favorite bacon, cooked, drained but not crisp
sea salt and ground pepper
Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 tablespoon salt for soak
Peel and cut eggplant in 1/2 to 3/4 inch slices
In a large mixing bowl add water, the tablespoon of salt, and sliced eggplant.
Soak the eggplant slices for one hour in salty water (place a smaller mixing bowl or plate on top to the keep slices under water)
Drain and place eggplant slices on paper towels to dry
On medium heat add olive oil to a large skillet. Sauté eggplant in olive oil browning slightly, but not cooked completely. May need to do in batches depending on size of eggplant.
Place the eggplant on a cookie sheet or sheet pan
Slice fresh tomato and place one slice on top of each slice of eggplant. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and grated parmesan.
Cut bacon in half pies and top each eggplant stack with two pieces of bacon
Top bacon with Swiss of slice of fresh mozzarella cheese
Turn oven to broil and place cookie on the bottom rack of the oven
Broil until cheese begins to bubble and turn brown