This is what I had for lunch today: Homemade Eggplant Parmesan (from a recipe in the October issue of Food & Wine magazine) on a toasted whole-wheat olive roll. Now that I no longer have a company cafeteria to rely upon for my mid-day repasts I have to [sigh] fend for my self when it comes to figuring out what to eat every day. Fortunately, on some days this is easier than on others.
The visual in the magazine was enough to draw me in to attempting to make this. The mozzarella came from Tonjes Farm, whose product I have used before and really loved. The basil was also from the Greenmarket, as were the gorgeous in-season eggplant, which I had picked up last weekend.
When the instructions say that it will take two hours to prepare, including the cooking time, they are not kidding. It is a bit on the fussy side prep-wise, with all the frying up of the eggplant in batches. That said, I’m not sure that any eggplant parmesan dish is going to be less so. The effort put forth, however, is completely worth it when you see the results.
This is a Sunday-supper meal. In Italy, this dish is actually served as a meat-less secondo, or second course (after the antipasto and primo (pasta) courses). One bite will tell you why. It has layers of soft and crispy eggplant topped with gooey, creamy cheese all wrapped up with tangy-tart tomato sauce. This is a hearty meal that needs nothing more than a cool green salad and some crusty bread to complement it.
I really like this dish and have been looking for a sure-fire, keeper-file recipe for it for ages. This might just be the one. Hopefully, if you do make it for your family, you can sneak away a slab of it in reserve so that you, too, can have leftovers to replicate what I had for lunch today.