Everybody in my household loves eggplant Parmigiano. Our local farm stand had some beautiful specimens so I brought one home. While I like Parmigiano, I wanted to do something a little different. Baked eggplant stacks became my focus.
These stacks are stuffed with a whipped goat cheese and topped with a smoky tomato chutney and caramelized onions. I plan on making a tarragon vinaigrette and having a nice bibb lettuce salad to go with it. TARRAGON VINAIGRETTE
I sliced the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. I then set up my dipping stations. One bowl was all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper. Next I took two jumbo eggs and some buttermilk and whisked them together. The third bowl was a combination of Italian bread crumbs, panko, and grated parmesan cheese.
Beginning with the flour I coated both sides of the eggplant slices. Then dipped them into the egg-wash and gently shook off the excess. Last, they were dipped and coated in the crumb mixture. I painted the bottom of a foil lined sheet pan with olive oil, using a brush. The slices were placed on the sheet pan and lightly brushed with olive oil on the top. Baked at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes on each side or until they come out a golden brown on both sides. I set them aside to cool.
While they were cooling I made my whipped goat cheese. Using a combination of soft goat cheese, 1/3 less fat cream cheese and buttermilk. It was whipped until light and fluffy. I stirred in some chives for extra flavor. Then it was put it in the fridge until time to assemble.
The tomato chutney is cooked on the stove top using a cast iron skillet. When finished cooking I allow it to cool. It then gets stored in a mason jar in the fridge for future use. This chutney is exceptional on lamb burgers and also with eggs.
The caramelized onions were done ahead of time too. Once you have everything prepped the assembly is a piece of cake…..or should I say stack!
Now all you do is assemble and bake as directed. My mouth is watering just smelling them!
This might look like a lot of steps but it goes quickly. It is well worth the effort too. One stack is one serving. Have a simple green salad alongside. It’s an excellent meal.
BAKED EGGPLANT STACKS
FOR THE WHIPPED GOAT CHEESE:
- 6 oz softened goat cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese softened, I use 1/3 less fat
- 1/4 C non-fat buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp chopped chives
With a hand mixer, blend the cheeses together with the buttermilk. Stir in the chives. Put in a container and keep in the refrigerator until ready to use.
FOR THE CARAMELIZED ONION:
Slice one large onion into half moons. Place in a large skillet over medium-low heat and cover with a lid. DO NOT SEASON THEM YET! Check in 10 minutes and turn. Continue to cover and cook checking often. Once they are golden brown, season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Set aside.
FOR THE CHUTNEY:
- 1 1/2 T olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of grated garlic
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 t Cajun seasoning
- 3 oz tomato paste
- 1 chipotle chili, diced
- 1 can, fire roasted tomatoes, undrained
- Kosher salt to taste
DIRECTIONS: In a Cast Iron skillet
- Heat the skillet over medium-low heat and saute the onion til soft, stir in the grated garlic, do not allow it to burn.
- Add smoked paprika, Cajun spice, and the tomato paste. Cook on low until the paste begins to darken, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and chipotle chili and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and cook for 30 minutes stirring frequently.
- Remove the cover and simmer until thickened.
- Season with salt to taste. Allow to cool. Any unused portion can be put in a jar and kept in the refrigerator up to one month. Set aside.
FOR THE BAKED EGGPLANT:
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
- 1 C all purpose flour
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 T kosher salt
- 2 extra large eggs
- 1/4 C non-fat buttermilk,
- 1 C Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 C panko
- 1/2 C freshly grated Parmigiano cheese
- olive oil in a small dish with a pastry brush
Set up dredging stations:
Bowl 1: Mix the flour and salt and pepper.
Bowl 2: Beat the eggs together with the buttermilk until light and fluffy.
Bowl 3: Combine the bread crumbs, panko, and the grated Parmigiano.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees
- Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil and brush over the surface with olive oil.
- Beginning with the flour dredge both sides of the eggplant slice.
- Dip in the egg mixture to coat both sides, shake lightly to remove excess.
- Dredge in the crumb mixture, shake lightly to remove excess.
- Place the slice on the greased pan and continue with the rest of the slices.
- Using a brush lightly dab the top of the slices with olive oil to assist in browning.
- Once complete, place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, remove and turn to the other side and continue to bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.
- Starting with a larger slice, place on a baking sheet, put a dollop of whipped goat cheese on top. Using a slightly smaller slice place on top of the first slice and dollop with another layer of goat cheese. Using a slightly smaller slice than the last, top with a dollop of chutney, and a few of the caramelized onions. Continue with the rest of your eggplant until all of it is stacked.
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve hot!
Til next time,