Eggplant isn’t just purple anymore. It comes in lavender, green, and white and various shapes. It’s not even a vegetable; it’s a fruit, and kin to the tomato. There’s even disagreement as to whether the skin should be left on or peeled. Some question its health benefits. While there are those who tout the eggplant’s antioxidant qualities, others bring up the potential for intestinal disruption and the aggravation of arthritis.
Even so, I enjoy a good eggplant parm from time to time. I prefer one that is peeled, especially if it’s a dark purple varieties that’s sometime tough-skinned.
When I’m willing to go to a bit more trouble, I make an Eggplant Parmesan from scratch. It’s from Food52 and is a bit labor intensive, but well worth the effort. Having a homemade sauce in the freezer or a favorite store-bought variety hasten the dish to the table.
I compared my version to Brad Leone’s at Bon Appetit. It’s his mother’s recipe and one that he modestly labels “the greatest recipe of all time.” The only difference I saw was that Mama Leone added a bit of oregano and fresh Mozarella on top. Frankly, I think my Eggplant Parmesan recipe (shown above) looks prettier and tastes divine.
But if you’re wanting a quick and fairly inexpensive Baked Eggplant Parmesan, Maggiano’s Little Italy offers a twofer. Buy one to eat at the restaurant and they give you another one to take home. The dish comes with Provolone and Marinara Sauce and Spaghetti Pomodoro all for $12.95.
Maggiano’s Little Italy, 2 The Boulevard St. Louis, Richmond Heights, (across from the Galleria). Open: Mon-Thurs 11a-10p; Fri-Sat 11a-11p; Sun 11a-9p.