In a good collection of Mediterranean recipes, the eggplant must have a central spot; widely used in the cuisines of all the countries around the Mediterranean Sea, it is prepared in a variety of ways, with always the most luscious and appetizing outcome – at least in my point of view, I like eggplant under any possible form.
In Italy the most common eggplants are the black/deep purple ones. Sometimes you see also the light purple ones with white shades. Here in the U.S. I have learned to use the Japanese eggplant, thin and long. It has the advantage of being almost completely seedless, even though the shape makes it more complicated to use in some preparations.
Eggplant parmigiana is a traditional southern Italian dish, whose birthright has been forever disputed between Sicily and Naples. The funny fact is that its name, that suggests some link with the Northern city of Parma (where the parmigiano cheese is produced), has nothing to do with our dish. It looks much more plausible that the name comes from the Persian (where the eggplant was first introduced) “petronciana”. Other sources trace the name to the Italian “mela insana” (crazy apple), which became the actual melanzana in Italian.
In any case, we are gifted with this low-calorie vegetable, that is a white canvas in terms of taste. You can transform it in many luscious recipes, all very different from each other.
The version of the eggplant parmigiana we are preparing today is not the traditional one: it is my take on a wonderful dish that normally requires frying the eggplant. Even if the flavor is superior, I came up with this everyday version, much healthier and quite satisfying.
PREMIUM CONTENT for MEMBERS ONLY
For 4 Servings
1 cup Carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 tablespoons of EV Olive Oil
½ glass of white table wine
1 pint chicken stock preprepared (or vegetable stock)
1 cup rinsed blueberries
1 cup roasted chestnuts or more, chopped in big pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons gorgonzola cheese (optional)