A while ago my wife stumbled upon this recipe for Grilled Zucchini Eggplant Parmesan from Dara at the Cookin’ Canuck and we immediately sought out to try to make it as it looked and sounded amazing. Our first attempt was a success, but I found the method of assembling the parmesans was not perfect for me. It seemed that by the time I properly assembled the parmesans on each plate to serve, they were somewhat cold.
I found that grilling all the pieces of zucchini and eggplant separately, followed by assembling the parmesans, and then putting them in the oven at 400 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes to warm them up and melt the cheese seemed to work better for us. Then we can plate them and serve them immediately without any risk of them going cold in the meantime. Also, using my homemade marinara sauce worked great for this recipe and for those wondering, in my picture of the dish I drizzled a balsamic reduction over the eggplant zucchini parmesan for extra flavour.
In the winter we tend to barbeque less as our grill gets so snow covered that we eventually give up on shovelling it out. With that in mind, we’ve adapted this recipe two different times for our deep winter months and were successful in doing so. The first time we used a cast-iron skillet to pan sear all the vegetables prior to assembly and the second time we roasted the vegetables in the oven and brushed them with olive oil in several intervals. Both methods worked great, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t have access to a barbeque. (By the way, if you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, I strongly suggest you purchase one. It’s hands down my favourite kitchen tool. Incredibly versatile and we use it to cook every steak that we make and they come out great. I’ll post on that topic someday as well.)
Eggplant is one of our favourite grilled or pan-fried foods. One thing that most people don’t understand is that in order to properly grill eggplant, you need a substantial amount of olive oil (or other oil/sauce) brushed onto the eggplant continuously to somewhat saturate the vegetable. Without this oil, the eggplant becomes dry and spongy, and really unappetizing. I don’t know how many times people have told us that they don’t like eggplant and then change their minds after having our grilled vegetables served with a balsamic reduction. It may not be the best for you to consume so much oil, but for grilling eggplant, there doesn’t seem to be any better way to achieve that amazing taste.
So, if you’re looking for a great recipe, or are looking for a great vegetarian dish, you should definitely try this eggplant parmesan.