Local eggplants are still around and beautiful. At my farmers’ market they sell them in different sizes and shades of purple. When I think of eggplant, I immediately think of one of my favorite dishes: Melanzane alla Parmigiana, Eggplant Parmesan. Unfortunately, this traditional vegetarian oven dish isn’t ready in a flash, that’s why I often make these quick mini eggplant parmesans instead,especially on weekdays. I prefer to make them with fairly big eggplants, since they can be easily cut into big round slices. But if you cannot get hold of those giant ones, you can also use medium eggplants and cut them lengthwise. Serve with crusty bread and a simple salad.
Action time: 25-30 minutes
1 big eggplant or 2 medium eggplants
2 mozzarella balls, preferably those sold in liquid, in small pieces
a piece of parmesan cheese, coarsely grated
a small hand of flat leaf parsley
For the tomato sauce:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 smal onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 can of chopped tomatoes (14.5 oz/ 400 g)
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
Extra: baking sheet lined with parchment paper
1. First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a saucepan and sauté the onions and garlic for 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and oregano and simmer uncovered over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until the sauce is fairly thick. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Preheat the broiler. Cut the eggplant into 0.5 inch/1.5 cm thick slices. Place the slices on the baking sheet, lightly brush both sides with oil. Place the baking sheet about 5 inches/12-15 cm under the broiler. Broil until slices are lightly browned and soft, about 3-5 minutes per side.
3. Remove from the oven and top each slice with a spoonful of tomato sauce, some mozzarella, and Parmesan. Return to the oven and broil until the cheese is bubbly. Grind over some freshly ground pepper and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately with bread and a salad.