Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesean

This recipe was inspired by Bon Appetite. I used my own tomato sauce and added some red chili pepper flakes to give it a little heat.

28’oz tomato sauce
Olive oil
8 garlic cloves, 2 finely chopped, 8
4 medium or 8 small eggplants (about 4 pounds), halved lengthwise
8 sprigs oregano
1 1/4 cu coarse fresh breadcrumbs
12 oz fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces
3 ozs Parmesan, finely grated

Preheat oven to 400°F. Using a vegetable peeler, remove skin from rounded side of each eggplant half, leaving a 1″ strip of skin around the cut edges. Place eggplants, oregano sprigs, whole garlic cloves in a large baking pan. Spray eggplants to coat with oil; season with salt and pepper and place cut side down. Cover baking sheets tightly with foil and bake until eggplants are very soft, 40–45 minutes.

Toss breadcrumbs and 2 TBSP oil in a medium bowl. Transfer eggplants, oregano, and garlic to 2 large shallow baking dishes, placing eggplants cut side up. Top eggplants with tomato sauce and mozzarella, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Bake until mozzarella is bubbling and breadcrumbs are golden, 25–30 minutes.

Serves 4.




Prosciutto and Mozzarella Piadine (sandwich)


Another Food & Wine winner!! Piadine is a flatbread sandwich and they are delicious!! The dough is super easy and mostly hands off. I whipped it up at breakfast and they rolled them out for a quick and healthy lunch.

3 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Kosher salt
1/3 c warm water
1/4 c milk, warmed
4 TBSP butter, softened
4 c baby arugula (about 3 ounces)
1 TBSP olive oil
16 thin slices of prosciutto
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced

In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour with the baking powder and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Add the water, milk and butter and beat at low speed for 10 minutes.

Form the dough into a ball and transfer to an oiled bowl. Cover and let stand for 3 hours.

On a floured surface, form the dough into 4 balls; set them on a floured baking sheet. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Heat a large cast-iron skillet. Roll out 1 ball of dough to a 10-inch round; prick with a fork. Oil the skillet. Add the round and cook over moderately high heat until it browns on the bottom and bubbles on top. Flip the round and cook until it’s browned on the bottom; transfer to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.

In a bowl, toss the arugula and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Divide the prosciutto, mozzarella and arugula among the flatbreads and fold over. Bake until the mozzarella is softened. Cut into wedges and serve.

Serves 4.

Chicken Parm Mini-Meatballs


These little meat balls really hit the spot and they are a lot healthier than chicken parmesan. They also freeze wonderfully if they don’t get gobbled up right away.

1/2 c panko
1/2 c finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBSP olive oil
1 large egg
1.5 lbs ground chicken
1/2 c minced yellow onion
1/4 c basil, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
6 oz mozzarella cheese, medium dice
1 c marinara sauce

Heat the oven to 375.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a mini-muffin pan on the baking sheet and coat the wells and the top of the pan with cooking spray.

Place the egg in a large bowl and beat it with a fork to break it up. Add the panko, Parmesan, the chicken, onion, basil, garlic, salt, oregano, and pepper. Using clean hands, mix everything until combined.

Divide the mixture among the wells of the muffin pan. Evenly divide the mozzarella pieces among the wells, nestling them into the center of the chicken mixture and making sure to enclose them.

Place the baking sheet with the muffin pan on it in the oven and bake until the meatballs are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the tomato or marinara sauce and keep it warm.

When the meatballs are done cooking, Run a small knife around the perimeter of each well to loosen. Serve immediately with the tomato or marinara sauce.

Makes 24 mini meatballs.

Eggplant Parm


I was craving eggplant parm and low an behold the farmers market had some wonderful Japanese eggplant. I made it in a single layer and saved the extra sauce for pasta later in the week.

Olive oil
4 Japanese eggplant, about 2 pounds
Salt and pepper
2 c tomato sauce, recipe below
8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/8-inch
1/2 c freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Fresh bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Using some extra-virgin olive oil, oil a baking sheet.

Slice each eggplant into 2 pieces about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick lengthwise. Slice in half. Lightly season with salt and pepper and place on the oiled sheet.

Bake the eggplant at 450 degrees F until the slices begin turning deep brown on top, about 12-15 minutes. Remove the eggplants from the oven.

Lower oven temperature to 350.

In an 8 by 12-inch brownie pan, place the eggplant slice packed tight. Spread with tomato sauce and sprinkle with some dried teaspoon of basil. Place one slice of mozzarella over each and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon grated Parmigiano. Sprinkle the toasted bread crumbs over the top of the eggplant dish, and bake uncovered until the cheese is melts and the tops turn light brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Basic tomato sauce:
1 TBSP olive oil
1 Spanish onion, 1/4-inch dice
4 garlic cloves, peeled and diced
1 TBSP dried thyme
1/2 medium carrot, grated
1 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, crushed with juices

In a 3-quart saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the thyme and carrot and cook 5 minutes more, until the carrot is quite soft. Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil, stirring often. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal. Season with salt.

Serves 6.

Grilled Eggplant Caprese


I always seem to buy the wrong eggplant variety for the dish I ultimately whip up, the best laid plans….This one is my take on a recipe I found at It called for globe eggplant, but Japanese worked just fine. The dressing is amazing!

1-pound eggplant, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Olive oil
1 large tomato

For the dish
1/3 c fresh basil
1 TBSP champagne wine vinegar
1/4 c olive oil
2 balls fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
3 large heirloom tomatoes, thinly sliced.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat).

Arrange eggplant slices on baking sheet. Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill until slightly charred and tender, turning occasionally and moving to cook evenly, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a baking sheet. Grill tomato until skin is charred and split, turning often, about 5 minutes. Transfer to sheet with eggplant and cool.

Core tomato; place in blender. Add chopped basil, vinegar, and 1/4 c oil. Blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to small bowl.

Overlap eggplant slices, cheese slices, and tomato slices on a large platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle salad with dressing and garnish with basil sprigs.

Serves 4.

Broccoli Rabe Pizza


This pizza was inspired by a pizza from a fancy restaurant. If I do say so myself it is amazing!!!

1 pizza dough (I use the Mozza recipe)
8 oz fresh mozzerella in water
1/3 c mozzerella water
1/4 c buttermilk
1/4 c half and half
16 oz broccoli rabe, chopped, thick stems removed
5 cloves garlic
Red pepper flakes
1 TBSP olive oil
Black olives – cured or regular

Preheat over to 550 with pizza stone in it for at least one hour.

Chop mozzerella cheese, combine with mozz water, buttermilk, half and half and salt. Set aside

In a large pan heat oil over low heat, sauté garlic for 2 min, adds chile flakes and broccoli rabe. Cook for 7 – 9 min until tender.

Roll out dough. Top with cheese mixture, broccoli rabe & olives.

Bake for 6 – 8 minutes until crust is golden and cheese is bubbly.