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« Corn Pudding for a Harvest Moon | Main | Crazy for Fried Foods from the State Fair »
Wednesday
Oct052011

Going Meatless with Eggplant Parm Stacks

By Lori Powell

Now that we know that we should eat more veggies (although I think we all knew this already), I thought, why not go for a meatless meal?

Eggplant Parmesan seemed like a wise choice, given all the eggplant I have on hand. A big plus when you’re cooking for one is, you can buy a small eggplant so it’s easy to prepare a single serving.

Eggplant, in all of its glory, is out and about in the market in all colors – dark purple, light purple, white, and light purple striped with white. And all sizes – from small rounds, skinny long, short ovals to egg- shaped. They are an international vegetable and hail from not just Italy, but Africa, China, India, Thailand, Turkey the Ukraine, as well as closer to home in such places as Louisiana (Louisiana Long Green).

One method of cooking them, which is very familiar, is to fry sliced eggplant in oil. It’s delicious, but eggplant acts like a sponge and soaks up all of the oil, which often results in a very greasy mouthfeel.

Other ways to prepare eggplant to slice them in half and spread with miso mixed with soy sauce and then broil. Or stuff them with a vegetable or beef or rice mixture. Grill slices for a sandwich or side dish. Cube eggplant and stir-fry to top pasta, soup or toss in Asian noodles. The possibilities are endless with this versatile veggie.

My version is a healthier take on the classic, where I broil the eggplant undressed, then layer and bake. Traditionally, you would dip the slices in egg, breadcrumbs or flour and then pan-fry. I find that broiling eggplant, just brushed with a little olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, not only makes them healthier but you get a bigger hit of eggplant flavor and with much less mess to clean up after. You could also marinate the eggplant in a vinaigrette before broiling.

The variety that I like to use is marketed under three different names: Grafitti, Sicilian or Zebra. I find this variety to be a bit creamier in texture and sweeter than some of the others.

To get the recipe and shopping list on your smartphone (iPhone, BlackBerry, Android device) or PC, click here.

Eggplant Parm Stacks
Serves 1 to 2
You might want to eat both stacks by yourself with a side of salad or crusty bread to dip in the sauce.

1 small eggplant, (3/4 pound), unpeeled and cut into six (½ -inch thick) slices
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
6 tablespoons grated part-skim mozzarella cheese
½ cup marinara sauce
2 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
8 small fresh basil leaves

  • Preheat broiler and arrange rack about 7 inches from heat.
  • Arrange eggplant in one layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Brush eggplant on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper. Broil eggplant for 10 minutes, until golden brown on top, flip and broil until golden brown, about 4 minutes more.
  • Form 2 stacks of eggplant on foil by sprinkling 2 largest slices with 1 ½ tablespoons each mozzarella and 1 tablespoon marinara sauce. Top with another slice of eggplant and repeat with mozzarella and marinara in same manner. Top each with remaining slices and sprinkle tops evenly with Parmesan.
  • Broil stacks until cheese is melted, about 1 minute more.
  • Serve on a pool of marinara sauce and sprinkle with basil.

Here’s Andrew’s version of Eggplant Parmesan.

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Reader Comments (1)

Let me know if you need my address so you can bring some of this over. :) Looks great Sandy.

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