Cheesy Eggplant “Garlic Bread”
With all these “Pineapple doesn’t go on Pizza” memes floating around, I thought a good ol’ Italian recipe would be “amore” for this week’s Abbey Eats.
Italian food is my favorite. Pizza, bread, pasta, more pizza… basically all the carbs. Who’s with me? Everyone can be Italian if they talk enough with their hands, and love enough pasta.
Like any healthy Italian food lover, I’m always looking for recipes that are yummy and resemble something from the Italiano “old ways”.
This recipe hit the spot and did just that! It’s a perfect blend of cheese, spices, and an almost bread texture. Something quite wonderful, actually.
I am not normally a fan of eggplant (and neither is the husband), however I thought I would still give it a go. Turns out, venturing outside of our anti-pasta and garlic roll comfort zone made for a delicious experience.
First, find yourself a nice eggplant – the focal point of this feast.
*Need help picking a prime eggplant? Follow these basics from ‘bon appetit’:
– Pick one that’s smooth to the touch & shiny to the eye
– Touch it – Slightly firm (not hard) is what you want
– Body should be bright purple or white (dependent on the kind you want) but the stem end should be vibrant green
– Larger eggplants can be more bitter. I.e. bigger isn’t always better for Eggplant
– Dine within a week, or dash it in the trash
Heat oven to 350 degrees F
Recipe as Follows:
1 Small-Medium Eggplant
2 TBSP EVOO
4 TBSP of Fresh herbs of your choice (I recommend an Italian trifecta of Parsley, Oregano, Cilantro & Basil)
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
1-2 Cloves Fresh Garlic (minced)
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1. Wash that eggplant- wash it real good! Pat gently to dry as to not bruise it (eggplants are sensitive).
2. Gently cut the eggplant with vertical cut lines beginning outside the rind going into the eggplant. Do NOT cut all the way through to the other side. Instead, cut just enough through the pulp, avoiding a clean cut through the other side. Do the same cutting horizontally next. If you are left with little cube shapes of eggplant still “attached” by the center, then you are correct. Think pull-apart bread*
3. Sprinkle salt generously on exposed eggplant. Set aside and let stand for 10 minutes. (This is actually drawing out the excess moisture from the eggplant, making it easier to cook thoroughly and avoiding soggy eggplant).
4. In a small bowl, combine EVOO, fresh herbs, garlic, and pinch of S&P.
5. Spread apart these cubes of eggplant using a spoon to prepare the plant to be stuffed. Use a silicone brush or basting brush to apply the EVOO mixture evenly onto the exposed eggplant.
Make sure it gets in all the nooks and crannies! The more crannies the more flavor.
6. After you’ve applied the EVOO mix, ‘stuff’ the cracks with cheese. What “garlic bread” leaves out the cheese? Not this eggplant loaf!
7. Wrap the stuffed eggplant in foil loosely and place in the middle a non-greased baking sheet. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes; or until cheese is runny and eggplant is soft. Serve immediately with your favorite Italian dish and Enjoy!
As always, if you try a recipe, let us know what you think!
Meet the Author:
This article was written by Abbey! Abbey is a mom of two who spends her days watching Scooby Doo with her toddler and breastfeeding her two month old. She writes on nutrition, fitness, and her crunchy life.