Sunday, 2 March 2014

Renew the Menu: Eggplant Parmigiana

"What no meat?" was husband's comment when we sat down to eat this meal. We are not huge meat-eaters but if we have a meat-free dish it usually involves pasta or rice. For this meal I took a punt and crossed my fingers this Eggplant Parmigiana  or Melanzana Alla Parmigiana in Italian could replace the meat as the star of the dinner.
 
I made a few simple side dishes; roasted potatoes and 'insalata' (a simple Italian salad of tomato, cucumber, onion, oregano, salt and huge glugs of olive oil!) warmed up some crusty bread and hoped for the best!


The result was delicious and could certainly hold it's own against any meat dish. Husband thought it was delicious and went back for numerous servings even though he is not normally a huge fan of this dish as it's traditionally made. I even managed to convince Miss M to eat some! Master Q kicked up a fuss and refused to eat it, but with toddlers you win some, you loose some!
 
I recently borrowed Bill's Italian Food cookbook from the library and this is where I found this recipe. Bill Granger's Bill's Food was the first 'Celebrity' cookbook I bought over 12 years ago now and I still use the recipes in it today. His food is simple, honest and delicious. His recipe for Eggplant Parmigiana stood out from typical Eggplant Parmigiana recipes as the eggplant was grilled and not fried. Not one to normally steer away from anything fried but I do find Eggplant Parmigiana a bit too oily and heavy for me so this recipe was appealing. It seemed really simple and although it was easy it did take a while, so take into account when cooking this dish.


Eggplant Parmigiana

(I have adjusted the original recipe slightly, this would serve 4 as part of a meal)

Ingredients

2 extra large eggplants
200g Edam or fontina cheese slices
80g ricotta cheese
Handful basil leaves
Parmesan cheese, finely grated
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Black Pepper

Tomato sauce
400g tin diced tomatoes
1/2 cup passata
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil

Method

1. Place tomatoes and passata in saucepan and bring to simmer, once simmering remove from heat and stir in crushed garlic and olive oil
2. Slice eggplant into 1cm rounds, drizzle olive oil on each side and sprinkle with salt and pepper
3. Grill eggplant in batches until golden and beginning to soften
4. Once grilled place the eggplant onto a plate and cover loosely with cling film
5. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
6. Spoon a layer of tomato sauce into a 30cm round ovenproof dish, place 1/3 eggplant onto sauce and top with half cheese slices and some grated parmesan
7. Repeat step 6
8. Top with remaining tomato sauce, eggplant, crumbled ricotta and basil leaves
9. Grate a final layer of parmesan, cover with foil and bake in oven for 20 minutes
10. Remove foil and bake for another 20-30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling
11. Leave to cool slightly before serving

Just making it in time for this week's Little Wolff Meatless Monday!

4 comments:

  1. Bill's 'Sydney Food' is still one of my favourite cookbooks. His ricotta and honeycomb hotcakes were truly a revelation. I recently bought his everyday asian and it is excellent. I love the way his recipies have simplified since having a family, it's made them a lot more accessible. Have you had a look at Neil Perry's Easy Weekends? My sis-in-law borrowed it from the library, and we both bought a copy.

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    1. Oooh thanks for the tip Rachael! I will put my name down at the library for the Neil Perry cookbook right away! Do you find a lot of recipes in Bill's Everyday Asian that are good for small kids?

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  2. This is wonderful! I'm not sure how I missed you linking up last week, I'm so sorry I haven't stopped by sooner!

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    1. Oh don't worry Lila! I just made it for your link up by a few hours I think!! My meatless Monday ended up a meatless Sunday!!

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Thanks for your comments!