Welcome to Vegetarian Tuesday
If you are a regular reader of my work you know that I love playing with food. Deconstructing food is my favorite thing to do in the kitchen. Taking a dish that is well known and rethinking it. Today I wanted to work with eggplant parmesan.
This Italian classic is basically breaded and fried eggplant baked in a tomato sauce with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. I wanted to keep the original components but apply different cooking methods to achieve a lighter finished product.
The star of the show is of course the eggplant. Here I made an eggplant confit which is slow cooked in olive oil and spices. The tomato component is in an oven-roasted beefsteak tomato topped with Italian breadcrumb, Parmigiano Reggiano, and fontina cheese.
Lastly, the base of the dish is sautéed Candy Cap mushrooms with shallots. I received some dried Candy Caps and Portuguese Flor de Sal sea salt from Marx Foods, a top notch gourmet online retail shop.
As you eat through the course hopefully you get the sense of eating eggplant parmesan, but in a much different and lighter package.
Eggplant Parmigiano Concept Dish
For the Eggplant Confit:
2 medium eggplants – (washed and cut into ½ inch thick slices)
½ cup olive oil
2 shallots – minced
2 tbs coriander seeds – crushed
½ tbs cane sugar
½ cup Riesling wine
2 sprigs savory
1 tsp Meyer lemon juice
In a braising pan, heat olive oil over low heat. Add the shallots, coriander seeds, sugar, and a pinch of Flor da sal. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring with a wooded spoon. Add the wine, lemon juice, and savory. Stir well. Add the eggplant slices. Cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the eggplant to a wire rack to drain any excess oil.
For the Beefsteak Tomatoes:
Preheat oven to 400 F. Slice the tomatoes into ½ inch slices. Lay each slice on a sheet pan and season with sea salt, marjoram, and oregano. Top with the Italian breadcrumbs, Parmigiano Reggiano and fontina cheese. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes.
For the Candy Cap Mushrooms:
1 oz dried Candy cap mushrooms - reconstituted
Flor de Sal
White wine vinegar
Put mushrooms in a non-reactive bowl. Pour boiling water to cover mushrooms. Allow to sit for 20 minutes until tender. Strain the mushrooms. Reserve the mushroom water for a nice flavorful stock base. Pat dry with paper towels.
In a sauté pan, add 2 tbs unsalted butter and brown the mushrooms. Add the shallot and a dash of vinegar, cook for 1 minute. Season with flor de sal and white pepper.
For the Garnish:
Lightlt season the arugula, oak leaf, and flowers with some olive oil and a touch of balsamic vinegar.
1. Center the candy cap mushroom saute in the center of the plate.
2. Top with the eggplant confit
3. Then the roasted tomato
4. Garnish with arugula and edible flowers
5. Swirl some olive oil on the plate
That's it for now...till we exchange a few words again...Peace!