Alex’s Garden

Alex’s Garden

Wyatt and I spent the 4th of July in Nashville ,TN. at my sister Kate and brother-in-law Alex’s house. It was super fun.

My mom was there and we also got to spend time with old friends and their kids. The kids, Wyatt, Nora, Reese and Nash all had a pretty good time. We caught Fire Fly’s, fought battles on real civil war battle fields, saw fireworks and ate like there was no tomorrow. We made homemade ice-cream, had blueberry pie and peach cobbler and braised short ribs among other things. But the best thing was, most of the food we cooked was either grown in the backyard in Alex’s garden or brought over from Georgia from the Vinson family farm.

It was so great to just walk out in the backyard, fight a civil war battle (with Darth Vader of course) with Wyatt, and then pick the elements of dinner.

I really have to give Alex credit here. He has done an amazing job on the garden. I guess it helps being the 5th generation of a Georgia farming family even if he is a lawyer (haha!) and not a farmer.

Anyway, the last night I was there we made eggplant parmesan with the beautiful white eggplants he grew right in the backyard. You might think that’s a little heavy for summer, but it was just the opposite. Light, fresh and delicious!

Eggplant Parm for Summer:

For 3 people

3-4 small to medium eggplants

Kosher salt

Fresh Basil

Buffalo  mozzarella

Regular mozzarella

Parmagiano Regiano


Olive Oil

Homemade summer tomato sauce (recipe below)

Slice the eggplants into 1/4 inch rounds

Place sliced eggplants on paper towels, sprinkle with kosher salt, cover with paper towels on cover with something heavy like a cast iron skillet. Let sit for 20-25 minutes.

Put about 2 cups flour in a bowl. Season with S&P

Dredge eggplant slices in flour.

Drop into 1/4inch hot olive oil. Fry about 2 mins per side in batches. Change olive oil 1 time when halfway done. Make sure to clean out dark flour from pan and start fresh. Finish frying. Lay fried eggplants on paper towels when done.

On a cookie sheet layout eggplants and top with tomato sauce (not a lot) regular mozzarella, grated fresh parm, torn basil and then top with another slice of eggplant. Stack 3-4 high. Finish with the Buffalo mozzarella, sauce, parm and basil.

Bake at 350 for about 30 mins.

Let rest for about 10 minutes before serving.

Summer tomato Sauce

1 28oz can tomatoes or fresh stewed tomatoes from the garden

3-4 sliced garlic cloves

3-4 fresh basil leaves


Olive oil

Saute garlic cloves in olive oil until just turning brown

Add basil leaves and saute 1 minute

Add tomatoes and S&P to taste. Bring to a boil. Turn down heat and let cook for 1 hour. Or turn off heat and leave all day.

  • KT
    Posted at 13:13h, 11 July Reply

    This was THE BEST eggplant parm ever! I have to admit I thought it might be a little heavy for summer (and after all we had been eating) but you are right it tasted very light and summery….it was awesome! Thanks MJ for cooking, thanks Alex for growing…….thanks KT for eating!!

  • Brigitte
    Posted at 03:52h, 12 July Reply

    love the photos from TN….and very impressed with Alex’s green thumb! Pie looks delicious…gotta try some blue-elephant-berry pie!

    • maryjolandry
      Posted at 04:47h, 12 July Reply

      haha Brigitte! My mom brought these great animal cookie cutters for Wyatt so I decided to use them for the crusts. I had to turn all of the elephant trunks up so we would have good luck-the molds had them down!

Post A Comment