The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you’re hungry again. ~George Miller
Giada De Laurentiis’ vegetable parmesan is one of my favorites dishes whether it is for a holiday dinner or simple week night dinner, a meatless Monday meal in my case, easy to prepare and a perfect make ahead dinner for a busy day.
I prefer to grill the vegetables and use a homemade sauce, but feel free to use your favorite store or market brand and as she suggests grill other vegetables, I love the addition of grilled Portobello mushrooms and a little grated provolone mixed in with the mozzarella. Tonight I am serving with a basket of grilled garlic bread…
Vegetable Parmesan (adapted from Giada’s Family Christmas)
- Butter, for greasing the baking dish
- 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick slices ( lengthwise or width wise doesn’t matter, lightly salt the slices and allow to sit in colander for 30 minutes or so, pat dry)
- 2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 2 zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch thick slices
- EVOO, for drizzling
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (26-ounce) jar marinara sauce, divided (homemade is better and I used about 30 ounces)
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used 2-1/2 cups mozzarella and ½ grated provolone)
- 1 cup grated Parmesan (my addition of ¼ cup of Pecorino Romano)
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs (1/2-3/4 cup homemade seasoned crumbs)
I forgot to butter the pan and it made no difference.
Brush the vegetable slices with EVOO and season with salt and pepper, grill until they have some nice grill marks and are slightly softened, 3 to 4 minutes each side. Follow Giada’s oven roasting method in her recipe.
Spoon about 3/4 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of the dish. Arrange the eggplant slices on top. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup of each cheese. Layer fennel slices add 1/3 cup cheeses and 1/3 sauce. Arrange the zucchini on top and add the last of the cheese and sauce. Scatter the bread crumbs over the cheese and drizzle with EVOO. Bake until the top is golden and forms a crust, 30 to 35 minutes.
My changes to Giada’s recipe: For an additional layer, clean Portobello mushrooms, remove dark gills, brush with EVOO, grill and season with a little salt and pepper.
Use 2-1/2 cups grated mozzarella and ½ cup grated provolone.
Seasoned bread crumbs instead of plain.
Recipe and video copy and paste to browser: