Today, I'm planning a popular Italian-American supper, eggplant parmigiana. To prove that it can be just as enjoyable in warm weather as it is comforting in Winter, I'll be keeping my oven turned off and making use of the grill grates instead — grilling adds a smoky flavor to an already substantive vegetable. When preparing this dish, be sure to slice the eggplant right before using to prevent any discoloration. Enjoy an unconventional preparation of this classic after the break.
- 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.
- Cheese, Main Dishes