Eggplant Italiano

Course : Eggplant
Serves: 4
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2 large garlic cloves -- minced
1 large onion -- coarsely chopped
1 large celery stalk -- chopped
1 large green pepper -- chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil -- (or more)
1 cup fresh mushrooms -- sliced
1 medium eggplant -- sliced 1/4 inch
1/2 teaspoon marjoram -- dried
1/2 teaspoon thyme -- dried
1 teaspoon oregano -- dried
1 can tomatoes -- diced (28 oz.)
2 cups mozzerella cheese -- grated
1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste

Preparation / Directions:

*Eggplant should be young, firm, a deep purple and without surface blemishes or scars.* Saute garlic, onion, celery and green pepper in hot oil in a skillet (I use my beloved wok) for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute 1 minute longer. Add eggplant slices to skillet, stirring well for an additional 5 minutes. Add seasonings and tomatoes. Cover and heat to simmering. Place in an oiled shallow casserole (Corning is ideal). Sprinkle cheese over eggplant and place, covered, in a pre-heated oven (350F.) for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake an additional 10 minutes, until bubbly and golden.

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