The NEW Eggplant Parmesan

I'm Greek, so why am I sharing MY Eggplant Parmigiana or Parmesan, as it's known in the United States? Well, as a Greek, I enjoy eating eggplant as much as any Italian or Italian-American. Hello! Heard of Moussaka? Insert laughter emoji here. In Italian, the word for eggplant is melanzane, and in Greek, mellitzana. See, more similar than not.

Here just for the recipe? You'll find it here, but scroll to the bottom of this post to refer to instructional photos.

If you search for the history of the Eggplant Parmigiana recipe, you'll find all manner of claims as to its origin. You'll also learn that the original recipe may have used zucchini! It seems that everyone can agree that Arabian conquerors brought eggplants from India and first planted them in Sicily, so the Sicilian origin is quite plausible. Of course, Naples and Parma disagree, and claim the recipe as their own. Regardless of origin, however, this simple recipe is popular all over the world, even in England, where it is known as Parmo and prepared with Bechamel sauce instead of mozzarella cheese.

Parmigiana di Melanzane, some say, originated in Sicily, and that the Parmigiana refers not to the cheese from Parma, but to parmiciana, which is the Sicilian word for a louvered window shutter--the overlapping eggplant slices reminded cooks of the shutter!

I never make Eggplant Parmesan at home because Dewey doesn't care for eggplant, and I don't want to make a big mess frying everything. Additionally, it takes quite a bit of time, so I prefer to order it in a good Italian restaurant now and then. I'm also trying to eat low-carb, and the traditional American-style preparation calls for flour, an egg wash and then breadcrumbs before frying.

Why my recipe? It's lighter! It's fresh! It's not heavy! And it's easy--takes no time to prepare. Instead of slicing, breading and frying, I broil large chunks of eggplant, which is not messy and takes a lot less time. I use Rao's Marinara sauce--it has a delicious homemade flavor and no preservatives! How fabulous is that? (As Ina Garten might say.) Click here for my fresh and light recipe.

Be creative, and adjust my recipe to suit your palate! Really. I mean, how can you mess it up by adding more cheese or more basil? Double the cherry tomatoes, and see what you think. Use sliced tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes. Play around with it. Use a good, freshly grated cheese like Parmigiano-Regiano, but if the grated stuff off the grocery store shelf is all you have or all you can afford, use that. The cheese police is not coming to your house! You can also try it with Pecorino or Grana Padano. Even Lidia (below) uses it instead of Parmigiano, and she gives you the option of using Fontina cheese instead of Mozzarella. Some recipes even call for fresh Mozzarella.

Looking for a good traditional recipe? You cannot go wrong with this one from Lidia Bastianich.

Before you go straight to my recipe, take a look at the instructional photos below. A picture is worth more than words (they say); in case that is not so for you, reach out with any questions that you may have.

This is what the broiled eggplant chunks look like. Easier than frying!
Salt the eggplant, pat dry, drizzle with olive oil and broil.
Blister the tomatoes under the broiler.

Top with the chopped/diced mozzarella, more Parmesan and basil.

Buon Appetito!


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