Friday, April 18, 2008

Drop-Dead Parmigiana

The Chef: Colleen

The Menu: Luscious, perfectly crisp Eggplant Parmigiana. Colleen took thick slices of eggplant and dredged them in Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs before they were deep fried, toasted on Frankie’s homemade tomato-bread, topped with a slice of mild “mozzarella,” and sprinkled with fresh parsley. Slices of fresh zucchini and carrot balanced these rich tostadas.

The Goods: For all you Italians out there, you know that parmigiana ain’t parmigiana without tomato sauce, but Colleen’s secret eggplant recipe is so subtly delicious that we didn’t want to over-power it with a tangy sauce. You also know that this traditional dish—cunningly veganized here, of course—is typically chock-full of animal goo. While this version is 100 percent vegetable-based, it’s unbelievably rich taste had us second-guessing, but then sneaking back to the kitchen to make more. We’ve all happily slipped into an afternoon food coma, but we’ve got cardiac defibrillators charging just in case. Clear!

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