Food Recipe Vol. 25 No. 12

Eggplant Parmesan with Honey Mascarpone

Eggplant Parmigiano with Honey Mascarpone
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Eggplant offers a low-fat, plant-based option to red meat thanks to its texture, and its skin is loaded with fiber. This filling eggplant parmesan recipe is from Chef Marcus Woodham at The Bower, located in New Orleans Lower Garden District. A Louisiana native, Woodham works closely with the non-profit Sugar Roots Farm to source local produce for the restaurant’s seasonal menu.

Eggplant Parmesan (Serves: 4-6)

2 eggplants

4 eggs

AP Flour (for dusting)

4 cups breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons dry oregano

For Tomato Sauce:

4 cups San Marzano Tomatoes

1/2 cup tomato paste

4 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 leek

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar

1 cup red wine

3 tablespoon dry oregano

2 tablespoon dry thyme

2 tablespoon granulated garlic

2 tablespoon granulated onion

3 tablespoon fennel seed

3 tablespoon sugar

For Swiss Chard:

5 bunches Swiss Chard

3 tablespoons chopped garlic

1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

1/2 cup white wine

3 tablespoons butter

For Basil Vinaigrette:

1/2 lb basil

1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 1/2 cup canola oil

Tomato Sauce:

The tomato sauce can be made ahead of time to save time. Using extra virgin olive oil, first toast fennel seeds then add leeks and garlic. Sweat out until translucent, deglaze with balsamic vinegar and red wine. Reduce until vinegar and wine are like a syrup then add San Marzano tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to a boil then reduce heat. Add remaining dry spices, sugar, salt and black pepper. Cook for 15 to 30 minutes until sauce is thick. Adjust seasoning.

Swiss Chard:

Remove big stems at the bottom of the chard, cut chard in 2 inch increments, and rinse under cold running water for 5 minutes to remove any dirt.

In large saute skillet or pot big enough to fit greens, start with olive oil, add garlic and crushed red pepper. Deglaze with white wine and then add greens and butter. Cook until greens are tender and wine is reduced to almost dry. Season with salt and pepper.

Basil Vinaigrette:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Make sure to have a container with ice water on your working station. Drop basil in boiling water for 10 seconds then immediately put basil in the ice bath. Remove basil, squeeze remaining water out of basil. Put basil, vinegar, honey in blender then slowly add oil to emulsify. Season with salt and pepper.

Eggplant:

Cut eggplant long ways about 1/2 inch thick. Season with salt and pepper, dust in AP flour, then dip in beaten egg mixture and finally coat with seasoned breadcrumbs. Deep fry or pan fry until golden brown on both sides. Add mozzarella to one side of eggplant then tomato sauce then more mozzarella. Bake in 400 degree oven until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Assemble:

Place sauteed Swiss Chard at the bottom of the plate, layer 2 pieces of eggplant with tomato sauce. Drizzle basil vinaigrette around eggplant. Be generous. Enjoy.

Honey Mascarpone:

8 ounces mascarpone

2 tablespoon honey

2 lemons zested

1 teaspoon fresh picked thyme

pinch salt

1/2 teaspoon half cracked black pepper

1/3 cup Luxardo Cherries with juice

Focaccia

Mascarpone:

Combine mascarpone, lemon zest, thyme, honey and salt in food processor and and whip until smooth. Place Mascarpone in bowl, garnish with half cracked black pepper and cherries and juice. Serve with focaccia for dipping.

Eggplant Parmesan with Honey Mascarpone- Chef Marcus Woodham, The Bower, New Orleans.
The Bower is located at 1320 Magazine Street, New Orleans. www.thebowernola.com

Photo of dish by Sam Hanna.

An engaging speaker and writer, Melanie Young hosts the weekly national radio shows, The Connected Table Live, featuring conversations with global thought leaders in wine, food, spirits and hospitality (a Feedspot Top 10 Food & Drink Podcasts for 2021), and Fearless Fabulous You, a lifestyle show for and about women (both on iHeart and more than 30 other podcast platforms). Young has contributed articles on wine, spirits, food, and culinary travel to Wine Enthusiast, Seven Fifty Daily, Wine4Food and Jewish Week. She is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, Wine Media Guild, and Women of the Vine & Spirits. Young’s former marketing and events agency, M Young Communications, worked with global wine, food organizations, publishing companies and nonprofits. She had an integral role in the creation, launch and management of The James Beard Foundation Awards, New York Restaurant Week, and Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund (2001) which raised funds to provide for the families of restaurant workers killed in the September 11th terrorist attacks. www.theconnectedtable.com www.melanieyoung.com Instagram @theconnectedtable

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