I was also excited to see eggplants in the crisper drawer of the fridge. I'd been wanting to get some eggplant to try out a grilled version of eggplant parmegiana. I'd seen it in Gourmet and thought that it looked fun. I just didn't feel like getting out the magazine and following a recipe, which is out of character. Instead I headed to the store, bought about a pound of mozzarella, a couple tomatoes, and I was set.
Though the whole not-following a recipe does have its weak points. I checked to make sure we had Parmesan, and then completely forgot to use it. I think the flavor may have been better with it and a bit less mozzarella, which is what I will try next time.
Grilled Eggplant Parmesan
inspired by the recipe in Gourmet, June 2007
4 medium eggplant
3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, sliced into the 16 slices
4 medium tomatoes
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
20 medium-large basil leaves, plus a few more torn
oil, for brushing
Dice tomatoes. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine tomatoes, garlic, red pepper, and a few torn basil leaves. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and cover, stirring occasionally, about ten minutes.
Meanwhile, slice each eggplant lengthwise into five slices. Brush both sides with oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill eggplant over medium-heat, flipping once, for about 15 minutes or until tender and cooked through. Try to keep track of which eggplant slices belonged to which eggplant.
To assemble, starting with one side of the eggplant. Top with a slice of cheese, basil leave, and small spoonful of sauce. Add next layer of eggplant and repeat, ending with top of eggplant. Top with a spoonful of sauce and a basil leaf. Repeat with remaining three eggplants.