deconstructed eggplant parmesan
In the October 9-10th weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal, from the Slow Food Fast column, there appeared a recipe for Fried Eggplant with Sungold Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella. The recipe is from chef Joe Papach from The Harvey House in Madison, Wisconsin. This stunning restaurant is housed in the renovated Baggage Claim House at the Madison historic train depot and the restaurant features Midwest favorites, but with a twist by Chef Papach.
This is evident in today’s recipe whereby the eggplant is made into golden planks and served atop a tomato sauce that is made with dry white wine, butter and a splash of sherry vinegar. For the recipe you’ll need 2 Italian eggplants, kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, olive oil, fresh garlic, chile flakes, Sungold tomatoes, dry white wine, butter, sherry vinegar, flour, eggs, panko, fresh mozzarella, zest of a lemon and fresh basil leaves.
This time when I breaded the eggplant with the panko, I left the panko as is and my eggplant came out golden and very crispy. The tomato sauce is unusual in that you’re using Sungold (golden orange color) tomatoes, which is a variety of cherry tomatoes, that is extra sweet and stays firmer longer. I found Sungold tomatoes at Delicious Orchards, in Colts Neck, NJ. The tomato sauce is made by slicing the tomatoes in half and cooking them in olive oil and garlic. Once the tomatoes release some juice, wine is added and cooked. Lastly, some butter is added and cooked until the sauce tightens. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
This is now the base for your dish. You’re going to place your golden eggplant planks on top of the sauce and add pieces of mozzarella on top. I didn’t use fresh mozzarella as I can’t find anything less than 1 pound that is made fresh daily. I used shredded store-bought mozzarella and placed it under the broiler for several minutes, just till the cheese melted. I garnished with some small basil leaves that I still have in my garden.
To quote my husband, “This is really good.” This was a wonderful version of eggplant parmesan. It tasted lighter and fresher than traditional Italian eggplant parmesan. It takes just 45 minutes from start to finish. So, if you’re looking for a lighter version of an Italian traditional dish, give this one a try.
Fried Eggplant with Sungold Tomatoes, Basil and Mozzarella
Recipe by Chef Joe Papach, Harvey House, Madison WI
From The Wall Street Journal October 9-10, 2021
Life&Work|Food&Drink|Slow Food Fast
By Kitty Greenwald
Total Time: 45 minutes
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A former teacher, shop-a-holic, empty-nester redefining quick, family approved dinners.