It’s that time of the year when we ask ourselves the age-old question: “What do I do with these Thanksgiving leftovers?” To me, this question is specifically directed at stuffing. Every Thanksgiving, I always end up with more filler than I imagined. The perfect solution is an eggplant parm — the stuffing provides a deep flavour that allows you to do the bare minimum for maximum impact.
- A casserole dish or a deep glass baking dish
- A ladle
- 4 eggplants (depending on the size, if you are using globe eggplants, use 2)
- ½ cup of stuffing
- 1 whole fresh mozzarella (sliced and no, you cannot use pre-shredded)
- 3 tbsp of tomato paste
- 3 cups of pre-peeled canned tomatoes
- 5 cloves of garlic (thinly sliced or finely chopped)
- 2 shallots (sliced)
- 3-4 anchovy fillets
- Cooking oil, e.g., grapeseed oil
- Black pepper
- Optional: oregano, parsley, basil (fresh or dried)
To give the eggplants a nice golden crispy rim, slice the eggplants into thick cuts, and generously salt the side of the cut facing up. At medium to high heat, heat a pan (preferably a skillet) with the cooking oil of your choice. Cook the eggplant until both faces of the cuts are lightly golden. You do not have to thoroughly cook the eggplant as it will further soften in the oven.
In a pot with oil, cook the garlic, shallots, and anchovies at medium to low heat until the garlic is lightly golden, the shallots are softened, and the anchovies have melted. Turning the heat to high, add your tomato paste and cook until the bright red paste has slightly darkened — this should take about 5-6 minutes. Pour in your can of tomatoes and add a pinch of salt. If you are using fresh herbs, add them now. Let the sauce simmer at low heat for 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Using the ladle, spread 1-2 scoops of the sauce on the bottom of the dish and place the eggplant slices on top. Place the mozzarella slices on top and repeat in the order of:
You should reserve a final 1-2 ladles of sauce for the top layer. Once completed, sprinkle the stuffing and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until the stuffing is golden brown.