I am no chef. I don’t follow instruction. I don’t measure. And I rarely can replicate. My cooking is an accurate representation of my personality. It’s based on my mood, it’s an attempt to be healthy, it’s unstructured, doesn’t follow rules, and can’t really be measured or explained. That’s probably why I love it so much. I grab some fresh vegetables, a glass of wine, and get started. It’s messy, but somehow ends up (typically) beautiful and delicious. I’m no chef, but I find a lot of joy in cooking. And especially in sharing the food I’ve prepared with people I care about, as an expression of love.
I struggle when asked for recipes, because I’m not always sure what I did or how much I used… but have committed to trying.
Today I made a vegetarian, healthy version of a classic: Parmigiana. I love zucchini and eggplant parmigiana, but don’t love the breading and frying or the excess amounts of cheese. So today I went very clean with the dish. I also don’t cook with salt unless I absolutely have to. So adjust to your palate if necessary.
So as I mentioned, I don’t measure… but here is my best guess at what I did:
1 medium eggplant, sliced
4 medium zucchini, sliced
2-3T EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
2 cloves garlic; minced
2 C prepared sauce (I make my own – will share that recipe another time; feel free to use your favorite)
1/2 C shredded mozzarella
1/4 C fresh Parmesan
1. Preheat oven to 450
2. Heat 1T EVOO in a saucepan or grillpan. Add 1 clove minced garlic; stir until golden. Add zucchini rounds in a single layer. Cook until lightly golden; flip and repeat on other side. Remove from Pam and set aside; repeat with remaining zucchini.
3. Stir second minced garlic clove into remaining EVOO. Lightly brush EVOO mixture onto both sides of eggplant rounds; grill on stove in same method as zucchini. (I like the added layer of flavor that lightly grilling the vegetables first gives them)
4. Spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of pan (I use 9×13).
5. Place one layer of eggplant slices in pan. Top with 1/2C sauce, 2T mozzarella and 2T Parmesan. Add a couple twists of freshly cracked pepper.
6. Repeat step #5 with remaining eggplant, then zucchini, ending with sauce and cheese on top. Lightly drizzle or spray a touch of EVOO on top.
7. Bake 20 minutes, until bubbly and cheese melts and starts to golden.