By Kath Dedon
Last night I dusted off my cast iron grill pan to make Grilled Eggplant Parmesan. The recipe, created by Grace Parisi, is from the April 2013 issue of Food and Wine magazine. It is lighter than many other eggplant parmesan recipes since the eggplant is grilled instead of fried and it uses grilled fresh tomatoes instead of a heavy tomato sauce.
I wanted to keep it light and not use too much olive oil. I decided to grill the tomatoes first and I just brushed the grill pan with a bit of olive oil instead of brushing the tomatoes with oil. That worked just fine. I did, however, brush the eggplant slices with olive oil. I probably used a total of about ¼ cup of olive oil.
The recipe calls for oil-packed Calabrian chiles, which my local QFC does not carry. Instead of using the Italian peppers, I substituted a local oil-packed pepper, Mama Lil’s Kick Butt Peppers, which added just a bit of heat.
Food and Wine tags the recipe as “Fast” and claims that it can be made in 45 minutes. Maybe I’m slow in the kitchen, but it took me well over an hour to make the recipe. It was very easy to make, though, and it was sort of meditative to grill the 4 batches of eggplant slices and 2 batches of tomato slices.
Despite the fact that it is not a quick recipe, I recommend that you try Grilled Eggplant Parmesan because it is fantastic! It’s a very satisfying vegetarian main dish and I can’t wait to have some of the leftovers for lunch.
Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
(Adapted from Grace Parisi’s recipe in the April 2013 issue of Food and Wine magazine)
(print the recipe)
4 large plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise in ¼-inch slices
1 large eggplant (1½ pounds), peeled and sliced crosswise into ¼-inch slices
Extra-virgin olive oil (I used about ¼ cup)
- 4 large plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise in ¼-inch slices
- 1/3 cup chopped green olives
- ¼ cup finely shredded basil, plus whole leaves for garnish
- 5 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced