Growing up, my family didn't really explore food too much. I guess most people probably didn't, as this is the era of the foodie moreso than any before. I fully expect that my kid will have tried sushi, lobster, french toast, and all manner of things by the time he's eight. But it was only after I found an eggplant on sale for a dollar a few months ago that I ever considered eating one of those things. They are so weird. Purple outside, meaty innards. But delicious topped with the right things! I found a dainty one at the farmer's market and thought I'd give some appetizer-style eggplant parm bites a try.
What's the best part?...they're super simple.
Peel and slice the eggplant (good meaty slices, maybe 1/2-3/4" thick) and coat with cooking spray. Broil for about 4 minutes. Flip, spray, and broil again. Also I had never successfully broiled anything before this meal. Anyway, once the slices are good and tender, toss a layer of mozzarella on them.
Mix some breadcrumbs and (good fancy style) parmesan with a little olive oil, just enough to make it pack together. Put the mixture on top of the cheese, and back into the broiler for a few minutes. Keep an eye on it. Those crumbs will burn very quickly if unattended. This only takes between 30 seconds and a minute.
Put some marinara sauce on top of the breadcrumbs and still more mozzarella on top. You could even dice some small tomatoes with basil and garlic instead to get a bruschetta feel.
This is a pretty quick recipe. It's a lot of in and out of the broiler, which is why I used my toaster/convection oven. Overall, though, it maybe took about 15 minutes.
I used my easy cherry tomato sauce in lieu of traditional marina, but feel free to take some creative licensing with it! Also I wanted to eat about twice as much as I showed here. Melty, cheesy and not loaded with carbs is seriously my kind of nomming.
Fun fact, I was actually out of parm, so I just kept calm and slacked on. Surprisingly, for a meal missing one of the title ingredients, it was still really good.