As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I love to cook. It’s something that has been ingrained in me since I was a child; my family cooks, together, in one big flurry of food, song, and wine. Lots of food. Lots of song. Lots and lots of wine. ;)
Because of this, my friends have gotten to where they love coming to my place for dinner. About once every week or two, I’ll have everyone over to try out something I’ve been in the mood for. A couple months back, it was Eggplant Parmesan. And though they are usually up for my experiments in culinary delights (cauliflower crust pizza? super popular!), several of my friends balked openly at eggplant.
“I don’t like eggplant, Mark,” one of my female friends said, “I won’t like it. I’ll try it, but don’t be offended when I hate it.”
I made the following recipe for her and the entire crew. It went over really, really well. Last week, she sent me an email for the recipe. She had already bought most the ingredients. She signed it thus:
“Thank you! And damn you, Mark, for making me a liar! I’ve been craving this for weeks…”
So here it is. It’s simple to cook, uses easy ingredients, and is very tasty. Let me know if you make it, and how it turns out!
Mark’s Eggplant Parmesan
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Marinara Sauce of your choice
Pepperoni (if you want to add meat to the dish)
Italian breadcrumbs (optional)
Preheat your oven to 400.
Slice the eggplant into fairly thin medallions. I prefer about 1/8″, but you could go to a quarter inch if you wanted.
If you have a silicon brush, brush the eggplant slices with olive oil. If not, you may want to dip them in a shallow pan with olive oil in it before frying. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and Italian seasonings to your preference.
Heat up a frying pan or skillet to a medium-medium high heat. Add in enough olive oil to coat the pan. Put in the garlic, and start letting it saute. Once it starts to smell really good, start laying eggplant slices on top.
After a bit (and when the garlic to the sides starts turning brown), flip the eggplant. Saute them for a bit, then remove them and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Spoon a dollop of marinara on each medallion, add pepperoni, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and then Parmesan cheese. If you’d like, sprinkle Italian breadcrumbs on top.
Put in the oven, bake until the cheese is bubbly and melty.
Pull out, cool for a few minutes, then enjoy!