Sunday, October 18, 2009

Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana & Picky Eater

Are your children picky eaters? If they are, you know what you have to go through every day to feed them. You learn to become creative with what you serve them and how you present it. I have to admit, it is exhausting to have to do it day in and day out. My lovely daughter Olivia is one of those kids who is very difficult to feed nutritious meals. She adores everything with tomato sauce on it, so I am trying to come up with all the things that I can add and disguise in the sauce. One of the things she really enjoys is eggplant Parmesan. I've been making it for a long time now and have several great recipes but this one is my favorite. It's healthy, easy to prepare and delicious. It does not require breading or frying, the eggplant is simply grilled and served with easy tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. If you have a picky eater in your household, give it a try, you might want to cut grilled eggplant in smaller pieces to disguise it, if your child does not like it. I hope you'll give it a try and enjoy it as much as we do!

Here is the recipe:

* 1/4 cup olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
* 1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
* 1 (15-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
* 1/2 ounce finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/4 cup)
* 4 small Italian eggplants (1/2 pound each)
* 16 thin slices whole-milk mozzarella (from a 1-lb block; not fresh)

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook garlic and red-pepper flakes, stirring, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and salt and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in basil and parmesan.

Prepare a gas grill for direct-heat cooking over moderate heat.

Trim 1/4 inch off 2 opposite long sides of each eggplant. Cut each eggplant lengthwise (in same direction as trimmed sides so each slice has skin just around edge) into 4 slices. Brush slices with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.

Grill eggplant, covered, turning over once, until tender, about 6 minutes total. Transfer to a work surface.

Spread top of each slice with about 1 tablespoon tomato sauce and top with a slice of mozzarella, then restack each eggplant. Transfer stacks to a shallow baking pan and grill, covered, just until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.


  1. I was just recently at a new little Italian restaurant here in town (the first!) and tried their eggplant parm. I was surprised to see that it was served like yours, having only had it in the past prepared more like a lasagna. I as totally prepared to dislike it, and then I was totally in love with it after the first bite. I've been looking for a similar recipe since then and here you have it! This is so serendipitous to find exactly what I as looking for. Thank you so much for a terrific post!!

  2. Good Job! I would definitely like to try this :D

  3. To be true, I don't like eggplants, but in this combination, even I would love to try it ;-)! Great job!

  4. that looks so good. i've actually never had eggplant parmesan, and i've been meaning to make it soon. i'll definitely keep your recipe in mind!