• Karine Wlasichuk

Eggplant Parm, with a Plot Twist

Updated: Feb 29, 2020

It all started with a deep need to get rid of the extra eggplant in my fridge (last one of this week's stash, I promise). I also had new beautiful glass dishes that I couldn't wait to stick in the oven. Then I thought, this sounds like an eggplant parm night. My sister was coming over, wine would pour, a cheesy dish sounded perfect. And it was. But, the shortage of eggplant made it even better. Indeed, halfway through tetris-ing the eggplant discs into the tomato sauce-filled dish, I realised I would need more meat and decided to add a huge zucchini I had laying around, bored, in the fridge. As this was a last minute decision to keep the dish going, it did not make it in the very *staged* first prep photo- I also ended up needing more eggs - oh and the parm's suggested serving of 1/2 cup was multiplied tenfold, stay true to yourself and use the entire pack for God's sake (anywho, the picture is a LIE- a cute one though) so just follow the actual list of ingredients listed below. Just remember, when it comes to cheese, don't even listen to the suggested serving portion- you're better than that.

The alternate intro for this blog should be: 'how to recreate classics with just about any ingredient you have laying around, because you are snowed-in and cannot go back to the market because you can't push a stroller through 14 inches of snow.' I'll work on shortening that. Ingenious recipes for the lazy? It'll come.

I know what you're thinking while witnessing the astronomical amount of articles I put out: first, wow Karine cute photos. Second, how in the world do you find all this time? Because to be honest some people alone with a baby during the day can barely do a load of laundry. However, Ella not only naps like a champion three times a day, she also sleeps full nights (I mean yes she wakes me up for food but still, my entire evenings are free to type and cook cute meals for her dad and friends). But mostly: ever since I realised I was too pregnant to wait in line at restaurants without thinking *I will faint any minute now* - let alone board a plane- I've been in this kitchen, cooking freezer batches of anything you can possibly imagine. So you are seeing my daily meals, but also countless weeks of rubbing my belly and cooking whilst feeling her baby kicks. This last sentence made me feel nostalgic yet she is laying right next to me- go figure.

Alright let's talk ingredients.

You will need:

Zucchini (1)

Eggplant (1)

Bread crumbs (1 cup)

Eggs (2)

Parmesan (just go for the entire bag)

Sliced cheese (around 200g-I used dairy-free Swiss)

Dried oregano (4 tbsp)

Tomato sauce/crushed tomatoes (an 800 ml can)

Optional sides:

Spaghettini (1 pack)

Garlic (4 cloves)

French shallot (1)

Garlic and herbs butter (1 tbsp)

Parsley (1/2 bunch)

Rapinis (1 bunch)

A few steps,

1. Cut eggplant in thick slices and thinly slice the zucchini using a mandolin

2. Dip vegetables in whisked eggs and then in bread crumbs (both sides)

3. Cover the bottom of the baking dish of your choice in tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes and sprinkle oregano

4. Start placing your previously dipped vegetables (I put the eggplant discs at the bottom until I ran out and placed the zucchinis on top as they are thinner)

5. For each layer, you want : vegetable, oregano, thinly sliced cheese, sprinkle with Parmesan, repeat- do so until you run out of ingredients or your dish is full

6. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees and place the dish in for 1 hour (I read 35 minutes somewhere but it depends how thick you make yours! I make mine very thick so I place it for a full hour, top rack, and cover it with aluminium foil until the last 20 minutes, when I let the cheese broil a little)

7. Slice like you would a lasagna and serve with the sides on your choice

In my case:

8. When I uncovered the dish (20 minutes before it was ready), I also placed a tray of rapinis (tossed with olive oil, onion powder, basil salt and black pepper) in the oven to let grill until I took everything out to serve

9. I also boiled spaghettini in salt walter and once drained, added fresh garlic, sea salt, pepper, olive oil and tons of parsley! It was very fresh and balanced out the heaviness of the cheese and tomato sauce

Sur ce, bon appétit!