My favorite meals capitalize on the delicious flavors of fresh vegetables. One night, to make use of the somewhat random array of vegetables in my fridge, I decided to reinvent a classic: Eggplant parmigiana.
Makes approximately 3-4 servings
¼ cup of carrots
¼ cup of onion
¼ cup of mushrooms
¼ cup of celery
2 tablespoons scallions
2 tablespoons basil
2 tablespoons rosemary
1 large heirloom tomato
3-4 slices of provolone
shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400ºF.
First, to prep the eggplant, cut it into slices, lay out on a cutting board, and sprinkle with salt. The salt will bring the water out of the eggplant: after about 3-4 minutes there should be little water droplets along the surface. Gently wipe away with a paper towel, then turn slices over and repeat.
In the meantime, finely chop or grate your vegetables—and they really can be anything, so get creative! I used carrots, mushrooms, celery, onions and scallions—all things I had in my kitchen. Next, cube your tomatoes. Mix all of the vegetables together. Add some fresh chopped herbs, like basil and rosemary, last.
Lay the eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Spoon out the vegetable mixture into piles atop the eggplant. Generously sprinkle shredded mozzarella and sliced provolone (or your preferred cheese) over all of the eggplant.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. After 20 minutes, check on slices every 5-10 minutes to ensure they do not overcook. When your eggplant parmigiana is ready, the cheese will be gently browned, and the eggplant tender. I enjoyed my eggplant parmigiana with classic spaghetti and a fresh arugula salad.
Madeline Zappala is a photographer living and working in Boston. She is currently working towards her Masters of Fine Arts at the School at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She works in an intimate, personal documentary style of photography, exploring interpersonal relationships and what it means to be transitioning into adulthood in this contemporary cultural climate. See more of her work at zappalaphoto.tumblr.com.