eggplant parm

Eggplant Parm Frittata from Whole Foods Market

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I feel like February often gets a bad wrap. It's dark and cold (if you're in the Northeast like I am), and there doesn't seem to be much going on. But in reality there's lots to celebrate! It happens to be my birthday month, and for everybody else, there's Valentine's Day with that special person in yourself life (or Galentine's Day if you choose to celebrate with your closest gal pals). Plus, Whole Foods Market has an entire other, delicious reason to celebrate!

February is the month of Parmigiano Reggiano at Whole Foods Market, which just so happens to be one of my favorite cheeses! This year marks WFM's 10th anniversary of their traditional Parm Crack event. At this event, Whole Foods hand selects the highest quality wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano from defined creameries in Northern Italy. At 3 pm ET on February 24th, each store will simultaneously crack wheels of cheese, and there will be demonstrations and tastings for customers. If that weren't enough, Parmigiano Reggiano will be on sale from 2/23-2/25 at $5 off per lb. 

To celebrate this delicious event and give you a fun way to put that Parmigiano Reggiano to good use, I'm bringing you one of my favorite frittata recipes - eggplant parm.

Here's What You'll Need:

-1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, shredded
-1/2 medium eggplant, sliced
-4 eggs
-1 Roma tomato, sliced
-6 fresh basil leaves (2 chopped, 4 whole)
-2 garlic cloves, chopped
-1 tsp Italian seasoning
-Splash of milk of choice or water (optional)
-Sea salt and pepper to taste
-1 tbsp EVOO

Serves 2

Instructions:

1) Heat up the EVOO in an oven-safe pan on the stove top over medium high heat.
2) Add in the eggplant slices, and cook 2-3 mins/side.
3) Add in the chopped garlic and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.
4) In a bowl, whisk the 4 eggs with a splash of milk, 2 chopped basil leaves, Italian seasoning, sea salt, and black pepper.
5) Spread the tomato slices throughout the pan, layering with the egpplant. Sprinkle the Parmigiano Regianno throughout the layers, and top with the remaining cheese.
6) Pour the egg mixture over the top, and top with the 4 basil leaves.
7) Cook, covered on the stove top, for 3-5 minutes until the sides are cooked.
8) Move the pan to the oven on broil, and cook until golden brown (~5-7 minutes).
9) Remove, and cut the frittata into two halves.
10) Plate, serve with your favorite sides, and enjoy!

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Make sure to head into your local Whole Foods Market to pick up that delicious Parmigiano Reggiano and experience the Parm Crack event for yourself! If you're local to Northern NJ, you can find more information here. And as always, let me know what you think in the comments below!

One-Pan Healthier Eggplant Parmesan

Would you believe that I've never made eggplant Parmesan? It's literally one of my favorite meals, and probably my go-to splurge meal at an Italian restaurant. So yesterday I decided that today was the day.

I had randomly bought an eggplant at Whole Foods with literally no idea or intentions for what I was going to do with it. I thought about roasting it, eggplant fries, and then it hit me (and by hit me, I mean I saw eggplant parm on Instagram). The delicious, crispy crust and ooey gooey cheesy goodness of eggplant parm was calling my name. I literally thought about it all day. Nearly 12 hours dreaming about this dish that I had never made and that could ultimately be a real F-ing disaster. But I had to give it a whirl. 

I don't know how, I guess the food gods were on my side with this one, but it was seriously BOMB. Part of me just cringed at using that word, but there's no other way to describe it. It was crispy, it was cheesy, you can still taste the eggplant, AND it's wayyyyyy better for you than the restaurant version. So let's get right on into it.

Here's What You'll Need:

-1 eggplant, sliced into 1/4-1/2" slices depending on preference (I went with about 1/2", making 10 slices)
-1/2 cup almond flour (I used this one)
-1 cup panko bread crumbs
-3 tbsp shredded parm, separated
-2 eggs, whisked
-2 tbsp olive oil, separated (into 1/2 tbsp increments)
-12 oz marinara sauce or more if desired
-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella (I used this one)
-Sea salt and black pepper

Serves 3-4

Directions:

1) Season both sides of each piece of eggplant with sea salt and black pepper.
2) Set up your dipping station (near your stove) - (a semi-large, shallow bowl of each) almond flour, 2 whisked eggs, and the panko bread crumbs mixed with 2 tbsp parmesan.
3) In a large oven-friendly pan, heat up 1/2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. 
4) Dip one eggplant slice at a time into the almond flour followed by the eggs followed by the bread crumb Parmesan mixture, coating all sides and edges), and place the eggplant directly into the heated pan.
5) Repeat until the pan is full, cover, and cook for about 3-5 minutes until one side is browned. Flip and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.
6) Remove the eggplant pieces onto a cutting board or plate. Add in another 1/2 tbsp olive oil, and repeat until all of the eggplant slices are coated and cooked. This took me about 4 rotations (hence the 2 tbsp of olive oil).
7) Remove the pan from the heat, and pour in enough marinara to cover the bottom.
8) Add in a layer of the coated and cooked eggplant, topping each with a small spoonful of marinara, a sprinkle of mozzarella, and a sprinkle of the remaining parm.
9) Add in another layer of eggplant and repeat.
10) Add any remaining sauce or cheese over the top of the eggplant pieces.
11) Put the entire pan into the oven on broil for about 5-8 minutes until the cheese is melted and starts to turn a slight golden brown.
12) Remove the pan, serve, and enjoy!

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I served mine over some cooked garlic zucchini noodles, and it was the perfect pair. Let me know what you think in the comments below! I'd love to hear from you.