I know that I made something eggplant-y last week but eggplant is just too good right now. Late summer is when a lot of the summer produce is at its best but most people are trying to move on by now. Everyone is talking about pumpkin spice lattes and I’m so not ready and so not interested. Though I did perfect some crispy pumpkin waffles a few weeks ago and the flavor profile made my heart sing!
I love eggplant. I think Italian food has really made me looooove it. I’m actually headed to Italy in a few weeks and couldn’t be more excited to eat my way through Verona, Bologna, Modena and Milan. There is going to be so much eating and it’s gonna be so much fun.
This of course isn’t like anything you would get in Italy. It’s as American as they come. I love eggplant parmesan. This is sort of a play on that but then put in between two slices of cheese, which makes it even more delicious!!
A play on eggplant parmesan, this grilled cheese makes packing a hot lunch easy. Enjoy eggplants while they're in season! (Recipe Credit: Adrianna Adarme of Fresh Tastes)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/2 large eggplant, trimmed and sliced
- Salt, divided
- 1/2 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 large egg
- Grilled Cheese:
- Bread of choice
- 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
- Fresh basil leaves
- To Make the Eggplant: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Get a baking sheet ready. Brush the baking sheet with the oil.
- Lay the slices of eggplant on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Allow to stand for about 5 to 10 minutes. They will leech a small amount of water.
- Meanwhile, add the breadcrumbs to a medium bowl, along with 1/2 teaspoon salt, parmesan, oregano and crushed red pepper. Toss with your fingers until combined.
- Crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk until beaten. Dip the slices of eggplant into the egg and then immediately transfer to the bread crumbs. Toss until evenly coated. Transfer to the baking sheet and repeat until you’ve worked your way through the eggplant. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the eggplant at the 10 minute mark, until golden brown.
- To Make the Grilled Cheese: Add a liberal handful of cheese to the bread slices. Top with two to three slices of eggplant, a tablespoon of marinara and a few basil leaves. Cook in a buttered pan, set over medium-low heat, for about 5 minutes and then flip on the opposite side. Repeat with the remaining sandwiches.
Yield: Make 4 sandwiches
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.