This seasonal recipe works great in the Combitherm combi oven because of the controlled smoking environment. And by not frying the eggplant, this recipe yields a healthier, inexpensive, vegetarian main course with a twist on a familiar flavor.
1 cup apple wood chips
2 large eggplants
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cups breadcrumbs or panko3 eggs
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons basil
1/2 cup EV olive oil
3 large fresh tomatoes
12 slices mozzarella or provolone cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup tomato sauce
Prepare the eggplant for smoking:
- Peel and slice into 1/2" thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and sugar.
- Soak wood chips. Set both aside for 30 minutes.
- Rinse eggplant to remove excess salt.
- Place on a screen or grill grate in combi oven.
- Smoke for 15 minutes at 120°F in convection mode. Leave in combi for another 10 minutes.
Bread the eggplant
- Pat the eggplant slices dry with a paper towel.
- Dredge in flour, then beaten egg, and finally in breadcrumbs, patting them to ensure the breading is even.
“Fry” the eggplant
- Preheat the Combitherm to 375°F.
- Spread olive oil on a baking sheet.
- Arrange the eggplant slices so they do not touch each other.
- Bake in the combi oven at 375°F in combination mode, browning level 2, for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown.
Assemble the parmesan
- Preheat combi to 325°F.
- In a deep dish, spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on bottom.
- Arrange slices of the eggplant, alternating with slices of tomato and half slices of cheese.
- Top with remaining sauce.
- Bake in combination mode at 325°F for 20 minutes, then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 5 more minutes.