I love a good eggplant parmesan, or as chef Jamie Oliver calls it, aubergine parmesan, or in Italian, melanzane alla parmigiana. However you say it, the dish is one of the best ways to enjoy this odd vegetable. One of the reasons I haven’t made eggplant parmesan very often is the process of frying the eggplant. It’s labor intensive, messy, and add calories. However, I can’t deny that tradition eggplant parm is pretty darn good.
Then I discovered this recipe through the New York Times based on a recipe by the British chef, Jamie Oliver. Instead of frying the eggplant, he grills or roasts it. No breading, no frying, just a brushing of olive oil and into the oven or on the grill. I’ve made the NYT version on several occasions, including dinner guests. It’s always a hit. And it’s adaptable. You can keep the bread crumbs or leave them off if you’ve got someone who’s on a gluten free diet. I’ve added hot italian sausage to give it a bit more fire and heft. I’ve even been exceptionally lazy and used store-bought sauce. Not quite as good as making your own sauce, but it saved me 10 minutes and tasted pretty good.
Here’s the link to Jamie Oliver’s recipe
And here’s the NYTimes version:
As an aside, the eggplant is a species of nightshade, related to the tomato and the potato. What country produces more eggplant than any other? China.