A simple blog about food, cooking, family, friends and the fun of ultra running. From the eyes of Chef Bill Bailey.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Eggplant Parmigiano

• 2 medium or large eggplant (about 2 pounds each), cut into about 18, 1/2 inch-thick slices
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 3 cups basic tomato sauce
• 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
• 1 pound fresh mozzarella di Bufala, cut into 6, 1/4-inch-thick slices
• 1 bunch basil, leaves only
• 1/4 cup lightly toasted fresh bread crumbs
• Kosher salt, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper

Heat grill pan over high heat until very hot. Peel stem off the top of the eggplant and cut eggplant, using bread knife, into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Drizzle slices with extra-virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper and place on grill pan oiled side down. Season the other side with salt, pepper and oil. Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 minutes on the first side. (For darker grill marks, use bottle as a weight to press down on slices).

Turn over slices and cook for about half as long as first side, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove eggplant from grill pan.

Oil a baking sheet and assemble stacks, starting with the largest slices of eggplant as the bottom row. Spread 1/4 cup of the basic tomato sauce over each slice and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon grated Parmigiano. Repeat the layering of eggplant, sauce and Parmigiano. End with a layer of eggplant, sauce and buffalo mozzarella, sprinkled with Parmigiano. Three layers in total.

Place under the broiler for three minutes or until cheese is melted. Transfer stacks to serving plates, using a metal spatula.

Serve garnished with torn basil leaves strewn around, toasted breadcrumbs on top and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

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