Mama’s Eggplant Parmesan

When I was growing up, my mom would frequently make her version of eggplant parmesan.  Her version is significantly simpler than most traditional recipes (and probably a bit healthier without the egg, butter, or breadcrumbs).  It consists of just rounds of eggplant, topped with a bit of tomato sauce, topped with a thin slice of mozzarella.  This is the eggplant parmesan I know and love.  It’s quick to make for dinner, it’s easy to reheat for lunch, and it’s delicious.  Plus you can never go wrong with a slice of mozzarella toasted to golden perfection.  So of course, it was about time to turn it into a pudgy pie.

Ingredients:

  • Eggplant, sliced*
  • 1/2 tbsp of tomato sauce (or whatever your favorite pasta sauce is)
  • 1 slice of mozzarella cheese, cut up into chunks
  • A tiny bit of raw egg white (or a mixed up egg)
  • Non-stick spray

Directions:

  1. The most important thing for this Toas-Tite pudgy pie is the eggplant.  If you find a big eggplant, you may be able to slice it in rounds to cover the entire Toas-Tite iron.  If not, you can cut your eggplant length-wise and layer two slices to cover each side.  Rounds of eggplant don’t roll out very well with a rolling pin, so length-wise is a good option.
  2. Once your eggplant is cut, spray the inside of the Toas-Tite grill with non-stick spray.
  3. Place your eggplant slices onto the Toas-Tite where the bread slices would normally go.  If you have length-wise slices, you’ll need to layer them to ensure you have full coverage in the center.  This is what ours looked like:

  1. On top of one side, add about half of a tablespoon of tomato sauce and your mozzarella.

  1. With a pastry brush, brush some egg which around the circumference of the Toas-Tite.  The bit of egg will help ensure that the eggplant seals for your sandwich.
  2. Carefully place the other slices of eggplant on top of the filling and close the Toas-Tite grill.
  3. Trim any excess eggplant from around the edges of the grill.
  4. Toast for approximately 4 minutes on each side over a medium-high flame.
  5. If your sandwich starts dripping out of the sides (and it may do that since there is a lot more water content in eggplant than there is in bread), feel free to open the grill as one side cooks.  (Just make sure that your edges have sealed more or less before you open it.)  That will allow the steam to evaporate while still cooking the side face down on the flame.  It will look something like this:

  1. When your sandwich is grilled to your liking, remove it from the Toas-Tite and let it cool.

Now, while you’re waiting…if you want a different variation, you can get going on this one!

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices of bread
  • A small round of eggplant
  • 1/2 tbsp of tomato sauce
  • 1 slice of mozzarella cheese, cut up into chunks
  • Butter

Directions:

  1. Butter one side of each slice of bread and place them into your Toas-Tite grill.
  2. On top of one piece of bread, layer your eggplant, sauce, and cheese.

  1. Close the grill and trim the excess bread.
  2. Toast for approximately 6 to 8 minutes, flipping the grill every 2 minutes, or until the bread is toasted to your liking.
  3. Then you’re done!

Now you’ve got two Toas-Tites.  One breaded…

And the other eggplant-ed…(once again, we couldn’t pick our favorite picture so we’ve got one that shows the layers a bit better and the other that shows off the grill marks)…


Notes from the Kitchen

Both versions were delicious.  The breaded one was a more traditional pudgy pie but using eggplant as the “bread” worked surprisingly well.  It is slightly harder to eat with your hands because the eggplant is softer than toasted bread.  But if you can get a decent seal and overlap your slices so your filling doesn’t squish…you’re in for a treat.  The eggplant gets a really nice grill on it and the tomato sauce and mozzarella blend harmoniously.

The main thing you have to watch out for is making a mess of your stove.  Because there is so much more water content in eggplant than in bread, drips are more likely with this one.  Don’t be afraid to open up your pie iron after your sandwich is sealed and finish grilling one side at a time.

We’ll definitely be using eggplant again (maybe with a goulash inside) and now I can’t wait to try a zucchini weave – the vegetarian version of the bacon weave.

Eggplant featured image from Flickr’s Muffet

Tags:

Categories: Savory Toas-Tites

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One Comment on “Mama’s Eggplant Parmesan”

  1. October 21, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Brilliant! What a fantastically ingenious twist on the original. Kudos, Girl and Boy!

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