Eggplant and Zucchini Parmagiana

layering vegetables, tomato sauce & cheese/basil

layering vegetables, tomato sauce & cheese/basil

Today we picked a lot of lovely young zucchinis and I had to decide what to do with them, they are so good when fresh like this, a real treat. I decided to make an eggplant and zucchini parmigiana from the cooking class I did in Positano but with a few changes, instead of deep frying the eggplant I grilled it instead (zucchini too), oh and I added chillies too!

The dish (two different dishes in one really) worked really well, the eggplant was soft and fluffy which contrasted the firm zucchini, the refreshing tomato sauce contrasting well with the cheeses.

Zucchini & Eggplant Parmagiana

Zucchini & Eggplant Parmagiana

Eggplant and Zucchini Parmagiana
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Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Italian
Author:
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
This dish delivers lots of textures and flavours- the sweet melty fresh mozzarella, basil, soft smokey eggplant & crunchy zucchini combine well with the tomato sauce.
Ingredients
  • 3 firm eggplants or 6 small zucchini
  • 240g mozzarella sliced & cubed (fresh if possible & dried out a bit)
  • 10 - 20 basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic (clove crushed slightly)
  • 6 tablespoons parmesan cheese grated (more if desired)
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 400g ripe tomatoes
  • salt & pepper
  • chillies to taste
Instructions
  1. Peel & cut the eggplants into thick slices. Place the eggplants into a colander and sprinkle with salt, let stand for at least 30 min to 1 hour. Wash salt off and dry eggplants with paper towel (get as dry as possible). Using a pastry brush lightly coat eggplants with oil and season. Slice zucchinis into thick slices (lengthways), dress with olive oil and season. Grill the vegetables on a barbeque or grill plate until the eggplant is cooked and the zucchini still crisp.
  2. Add the garlic clove to the oil on low heat and cook until browned slightly. Add tomatoes and chili (if using) and simmer for at least 30 minutes stirring frequently. Pass cooked sauce through a sieve to remove seeds and skins and add a pinch of salt.
  3. Cut the mozzarella into small blocks and leave to dry out a bit (stops the dish becoming watery). Grate the parmesan cheese.
  4. Oil a baking dish and place a layer of eggplant or zucchini (I did half of each) then a layer of tomato sauce, then torn basil leaves followed by the layer of cheeses. Repeat layers finishing with the tomato sauce and sprinkle liberally with parmesan cheese.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180*C and bake for about 30 to 40 min, or until bubbling and golden.
  6. The dish is good served hot or at room temperature (antipasto).
Notes
This dish is adapted from a recipe I learned in a cooking class at the Ristorante Buca di Bacco in Positano, Italy.

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