I LOVE this dish!!! Another score with a Food and Wine “staff favorite” recipe. Because the vegetables are grilled, it claims to be lighter than fried eggplant parmesan, but the results do not taste light. I made several modifications to the recipe- most importantly, broiling the vegetables instead of grilling them. I also omitted the olives, and substituted 8 campari tomatoes for the plum tomatoes, and 1/2 of a seeded jalapeño for the oil-packed chiles. We ate it with a crusty sourdough baguette and a green salad. I am ready to make it again.
Serves: 4 to 6
Total Time: 45 Minutes
- 1 large eggplant (1 1/2 pounds), peeled and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- 8 Campari tomatoes or 4 large plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
- extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
- coarse salt
- 1/3 cup chopped green olives (optional)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped oil-packed Calabrian chiles or 1/2 seeded jalapeño
- 1/4 cup finely shredded basil, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 6 to 8 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced
- crusty bread, for serving such as a sourdough baguette
- Preheat the oven to 450° and heat a grill pan or a broiler.
- Brush the eggplant and tomato slices with olive oil and season lightly with salt. Grill the eggplant in batches over moderately high heat, turning once, until softened and lightly charred, about 4 minutes. Alternatively, broil the eggplant on 2 separate rimmed sheet pans for 4 to 6 minutes per side.
- Grill or broil the tomatoes, turning once, until lightly charred but still intact, about 2 minutes (2 minutes per side when broiling).
- In a bowl, combine the olives (if using), chiles and shredded basil.
- Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the center, arrange half of the eggplant in a 9-inch square, overlapping the slices slightly. Top with half of the grilled tomatoes, olive mixture and Fontina. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, ending with the cheese.
- Bake in the center of the oven for about 15 minutes, until bubbling and golden. Let stand for 10 minutes. Garnish with basil leaves and serve with crusty bread.