Camembert for Mozzarella…what could go wrong? Hint: not a damn thing.
Found a beautiful, shiny, ripe eggplant at the market this week and was determined to make Ina Garten’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan. But necessity (read: expiration date) called baked Spaghetti Squash to the front of the cue, so I used up all my fresh mozzarella. And it was totally worth it. But to make matters worse, I then found myself plumb out of goat cheese. Yes, I wrote that.
Anyway, this was one of those off-script moments when I rifled through a dozen recipes to come up with this beauty for all the eggplant lovers.
(For 4 generous side servings)
- 1 large (10”) eggplant, unpeeled
- 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs. Herbs de Provence
- 1 medium shallot, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 12 oz. mixed cherry tomatoes, halved
- that 7-8 oz. wheel of Camembert in the back of the fridge that you forgot to eat during the holidays, sliced
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 10-12 fresh basil leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice eggplant lengthwise and then into 1/4” pieces. Distribute on the parchment and brush each side liberally with olive oil; then sprinkle crushed Herbs de Provence and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, flip and roast 10 more. But keep a watchful eye!
Meanwhile, in a separate oven-proof dish, toss sliced tomatoes, garlic and shallots with a Tbs. of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add dish to oven to roast during the last 10 minutes alongside the eggplant.
Keep the Camembert cold and slice into 10-12 thin, long pieces.
When the roasting is complete, in a small baking dish construct 3 layers, ending with Camembert: 1/3 tomato mixture, 1/3 eggplant slices, 1/3 Camembert slices and a sprinkle of Parm.
Return to oven for 10 minutes. When melted and bubbly, top with fresh basil leaves and dig in.
Note: for the final 10 minutes in the oven, the assembled layers could be topped with a mixture of 1/2 cup panko, 1/4 Parm and 1 Tbs. olive oil.