Friday, March 20, 2009

Inside-Out Eggplant Parmigiana

We tried this dish from the recent issue of Gourmet earlier this week. If you like Eggplant Parmigiana, then this is a good recipe for you to try. (Pepper - I've always thought that I wasn't much of an eggplant fan, but I'm definitely coming around. This was very tasty.)

Inside-Out Eggplant Parmigiana

For tomato sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (14-oz) can whole tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped basil

For eggplant stacks

  • 2 (1-lb) eggplants
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus additional for drizzling
  • 3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced, divided
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 lb arugula, coarse stems discarded, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup packed basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 lb. fresh mozzarella cut into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) slices

Make tomato sauce:

  • Heat oil in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, blend tomatoes with juice in a blender until almost smooth. Add to onion mixture in saucepan with water, sugar, and 1/4 tsp salt and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in basil and keep warm, covered.

Bake eggplant:

  • Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lowest position.
  • Cut 12 (1/3-inch-thick) rounds from widest portion of eggplants. Brush both sides with 2 Tbsp oil and season with 1/2 tsp salt (total). Bake on an oiled baking sheet, turning once, until golden and tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered. Leave oven on.

Make egg patties and sauté arugula:

  • Stir together bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, half of garlic, and 1/4 tsp each of salt and pepper, then stir in eggs and water.
  • Heat 3 Tbsp oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Drop 4 rounded 1/3 cups of egg mixture into skillet and cook, turning once, until patties are golden brown and puffed, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
  • Add remaining Tbsp oil to skillet and cook remaining garlic with red-pepper flakes, stirring, until garlic is golden, about 30 seconds. Add arugula and basil and stir until just wilted, then stir in 1/8 tsp salt.

Assemble stacks:

  • Arrange 4 egg patties about 3 inches apart on a baking sheet. Top each with 2 Tbsp tomato sauce, 1 slice mozzarella, 1 eggplant slice, 2 more Tbsp tomato sauce, another eggplant slice, arugula mixture, and remaining eggplant. Bake until cheese melts, 5 to 10 minutes. Drizzle with additional oil and serve remaining sauce on the side.


  1. That stacked eggplant tower looks tasty!

  2. Hi Salt (and Pepper),

    So glad that Pepper is starting to enjoy eggplant! My hubby Kris can live on eggplant parm.

    I love reading your blog so I've given Salt a sisterhood award:

  3. MMMMMM....aubergine! That stack looks so invitingly yummie 8)!!!