Grilled Eggplant "Parm"

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Introduction: Grilled Eggplant "Parm"

I love eggplant parm, but I think it's too heavy to eat in the summer. And I LOVE grilled eggplant. So, I decided to make a simple and light grilled parm-like eggplant.

It's a simple grilled eggplant, topped with grilled tomatoes and mozzarella. Ideally you would use roasted tomatoes, but to keep things simple I just used a lightly grilled tomato. You could also use a sauce for the tomato part.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Fundamentally all you need is:
  • Eggplant
  • Tomatoes
  • Mozzarella
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

You can also use something to season the olive oil. I had some basil from the farmer's market I needed to use up, so I decided to to add basil and garlic. Italian seasoning would also work very well.

Pay no mind to the chicken in the picture - I used it in my meal but not in this dish, so I don't know why I put it in the picture.

Step 2: Mix Up Your Basting Oil

You will be basting your eggplant and tomatoes with olive oil. You can use plain olive oil if you want, but it'll be more flavorful with herbs mixed in. If you're gonna mix things in, do it now so the flavors can mingle awhile while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

I had some basil left over from the farmer's market, so I used that and some minced garlic. This would also be good with your favorite blend of Italian seasoning.

Step 3: Prep Your Eggplant

Cut the ends off of your eggplant and slice it the long way. Make sure that you cut all of the slices the same thickness so that they all cook evenly. Mine are about 1/4" thick, and I wish I had a mandolin slicer so they'd be perfectly even.

I think it would make a nicer presentation cut into rounds, so you can do that if you want, but it's easier to grill when it's sliced the long way

Eggplant (especially large ones like this one) can be bitter, so to prevent that you need to draw out the juices. Place your eggplant slices on paper towels and salt them generously on both sides. Then, place another layer or two of paper towel on top. Let them sit, and if the paper towels are too saturated, switch them out.

Step 4: Slice Your Mozzarella

Slice your mozzarella into thin peices (about 1/8" of an inch thick)

Step 5: Slice Your Tomato

If you are using a simple grilled tomato like I did, slice it into hearty pieces. I had two tomatoes, and cut them into 5 big slices with a little bit extra.

If you are feeling more ambitious of having company over I would deffinately reccomend roasting your tomatoes using Canida's instructable. It would also work well with a fresh tomato sauce.

Step 6: Have a Little Appetizer

You've got extra tomato, plenty of sliced mozzarella, and some flavored olive oil. Make yourself a little appetizer!

Step 7: Fire Up Your Grill

Preheat your grill.

Add some salt and pepper to your tomatoes, and some pepper to your eggplant (it's already salted). Baste one side with oil.

Put your veggies oil side down on the grill and cook for three minutes with the cover on.

Note: you only see eggplant in the photo of this step, but I should have cooked my tomato longer so I would put it on at the same time as the eggplant in the future.

Step 8: Baste and Flip

Baste the other side of the veggies and flip them over, then cook them another 3 minutes.

Feel free to re-baste if you wish

Step 9: Grill Your Tomatoes

When I flipped the eggplant I added my tomatoes to the grill. I cooked them 1 1/2 minutes on each side, but I think that I should have cooked it a little longer.

Step 10: Make Your Stacks

Flip the eggplant over again. Place the tomato on top (or sauce if you prefer), and the mozzarella on top of that. Cook it for 1-2 minutes with the cheese to get a little melty.

Step 11: Voila!

Your eggplant is ready to serve! I served this as a side dish with grilled chicken, but it would also be delicious with a lightly sauced pasta or a smaller grain like couscous. It would also be yummy in a sandwich.

Enjoy!

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24 Comments

These turned out great. I have a couple questions 1. You said you served this as a side dish I thought this was a main dish. i am coming to eat at your house. 2. You said this is Grilled Eggplant "Parm"; what does Parm mean exactly? Because I don't see any Parmesan, I think I might have my definition wrong. Thank you, this is going into my favorites.

1. This could deffinately be a main dish, and I would eat it as one with pasta as a side. But my fiance loves to get chicken and eggplant parmesan at resturaunts, so the night we did this we had a grilled chicken cutlet and one of these and skipped the pasta side. So it was sort of like a co-main dish ;) 2. Well parmesan is kind of a misnomer, which is why I called it "parm-like". Parmigiana style (usually shortened to parmesan or parm) is technically chicken, veal, or eggplant, dipped in egg, coated with a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, and then fried, baked, or sauteed. After that is is topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella. But it's a misnomer because a lot of people leave out the parmesan all together and just do a bread coating (even though it's better with the parmesan in the coating). So typical eggplant parm is breaded eggplant, tomato sauce, and mozzarella. This version skips the breading, which is why there isn't any parmesan in my recipe, and switches out grilled or roasted tomatoes for sauce.

I hesitated to comment but I can't help it. Real items "parmesan" are dipped in egg then cheese (Parmaseano Reggiano only) a few crumbs and lightly fried to just cook the contents.

No sauce, no mozzarella. Most of my relatives are from Sicialy but a few from Parma and a number from north of Rome.

And to be fair if you made bread crums the way I do, there is plenty of cheese. Mixing cheese into the crumbs (maybe with a spoon of flour) makes them easier to use. Left over crumbs that are as spicey as mine are mixed in with a tinybit of egg and fried, or, saved in fridge till later on or next day and used to top a frittata or omlete Over eggs with potato and onions is simple and tasty and if you have left over marinara, oh boy. On a resh crusty Eyetalian bread look out!

We Americans had such bounty , that even though we all worked like slaves here, we could afford food , (usually) and a more flamboyant albiet richer (and to me) tastier "Italian" cuisine emerged.

Being of sound mind and mostly Sicilian ancestry , I would say no to parm and yes to Peccorino Romano, which is sheep cheese, not cow cheese.

All the Piasons agreed that "pizza sauce" is not a cooked sauce but merely ground tomato (or chunky if you like). It has garlic and basil and MAYBE a big pinch of oregano. No onions no peppers, nothing else. Some people will just used thin sliced fresh tomato.

Now, I do not do that I make an uncooked sauce with every ingredient in a meat sauce w/o the meat . This lends a nicer sauce and not a true marinara, it goes extremely well on pasta, or vegetables (broccoli, cooked spinach cauliflower zukes, cooked collards). Holds up well to shrimp and lobster tails). Add two tablespoons to a vinegrette made with EVOO and red wine vinegar beaten in for a very very tasty vinegrette.

When the pot is simmering you can drop in raw eggs (whole, un broken), from a saucer to make poached eggs. So too you could take left over cooked bird/cow/pig cold mashed potatoes and a little rice and flour and make dumplings just float'm up on the top. Anything you add o/t the raw eggs will flavor the sauce.

ciao bella's

That's great, thank you for all of the info I really didn't know that, I like eggplant also it is some what new to me but I wil try making it like yours.

Oh, and on sexing an egg plant? Is the veggie grown, or just growing? At what point in development will the differences show up? Wonderful tip. Now just to get one on sexing the plant itself, so no females are grown.

I love this idea, so much that I'd like to include it in my offerings at the farmers market I belong to. Buy an eggplant, get a receipe. However, I can't seem to get the receipe down to basics, one picture, one instruction, all on one, or two pages. Customers don't want a book with every purchase. Any ideas?

i just made some for dinner, it was awesome. going in the old repatua (sorry i cant spell)

To make a better infused oil, add herb(s) and garlic to EVOO in a small sauce pan place on med-low heat until you just see bubbles appear. Remove from heat and let sit for an hour or so

want the better (not bitter) eggplant?? heres how. Eggplants are male or female. Female eggplants have more seeds, which makes the bitterer taste. Males have more meat w/o (or less) seeds.... To sex an eggplant, look at the indentation at bottom. If it's deep and shaped like a dash, it's a female. If it's shallow and round, it's a male. Smaller eggplants also tend to be less bitter.