Eggplant Parm Stacks
This fabulous take on the traditional “eggplant Parm”—a staple of red-sauce Italian joints—will be a revelation. Forget about the heavy, greasy eggplant lost in deep-fried breading. Here it is grilled to a soft-charred beauty and layered with melted cheese, seasoned bread crumbs, and a delicate tomato sauce. This recipe began as an attempt to convert my husband, who was scarred as a youth when forced to eat eggplant at its slimy-viscous-undercooked worst. As a result, he refers to eggplant as the organ meat of vegetables. Not fair. Whenever he’s out, I cook eggplant!
- 1 eggplant (1 1/4 pounds total), sliced crosswise 1/3-inch thick (12 slices total)
- 4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- Coarse salt
- 1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh oregano, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Basic Italian Tomato Sauce
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4-inch thick (12 slices total)
- Extra-virgin olive oil to drizzle
- Parmesan for garnish
- Preheat grill pan over medium-high heat. Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with oven rack in center position.
- Brush eggplant slices with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season with salt. Grill 8-10 minutes, flipping once, until charred and soft.
- In a medium bowl combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, pepper, herbs, and remaining tablespoon olive oil.
- Place 4 slices grilled eggplant on parchment-lined baking sheet. Top with 2 tablespoons tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs, and slices of mozzarella. Repeat with two more layers. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake in oven for 20 minutes. Serve with a garnish of olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
Photo by Jonathan Lovekin