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Eggplant Baked With Tomatoes and Ricotta Salata

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I have always loved eggplant parmigiana, but the first time I tried preparing it at home, I found the standard recipe daunting: too much frying and too much cheese. I’ve been simplifying it ever since. This recipe is more pared-down than most. I baked the eggplants with a simple tomato, eggplant and garlic topping bolstered with fragrant herbs. I used ricotta salata, but other cheeses, including shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano, fontina or mild pecorino, would be fine. Though the dish can be served hot from the oven, I prefer to let it cool somewhat, to let the flavors bloom. If made well in advance but not refrigerated, it can be reheated in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes. And it makes for a handsome and delicious buffet dish.


  • 3

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3

    medium-size eggplants, 9 to 10 ounces each

  • Salt and ground black pepper

  • 2

    ounces Serrano ham or prosciutto, finely diced

  • 3

    large cloves garlic, minced

  • 1

    tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

  • 1

    cup finely chopped fresh tomatoes

  • ½

    teaspoon Espelette pepper or hot paprika, or to taste

  • 4

    ounces ricotta salata, finely diced
  • Nutritional Information
    • Nutritional analysis per serving (8 servings)

      113 calories; 7 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 4 grams monounsaturated fat; 0 grams polyunsaturated fat; 7 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams dietary fiber; 3 grams sugars; 4 grams protein; 12 milligrams cholesterol; 346 milligrams sodium

    • Note:

      The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Use a little of the oil to brush the bottom of an oblong baking dish, like a lasagna pan, 9 by 13 inches. Snip off any stems from the eggplants but keep the leaves on. Quarter the eggplants vertically and place them skin side down in the baking dish. Brush the cut sides with oil, about a tablespoon. Season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake 30 minutes.
  2. Remove from the oven, but keep oven on. Place the eggplant quarters on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut away the flesh, quite close to the skin. Dice the flesh, then chop it fine, by hand or in a food processor. But don’t let it become a purée.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy skillet. Add the ham and sauté on medium until it barely starts to brown. Add the garlic and oregano, sauté another 30 seconds, then add the tomatoes. Cook on medium-high until any juices from the tomatoes begin to reduce, about 5 minutes. Stir in the eggplant. Season with salt, black pepper and Espelette. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon of the remaining oil.
  4. Top the eggplant skins with this mixture, mounding it up a bit. Return eggplants to the baking dish. Top each with the cheese and drizzle with remaining oil. Bake 20 minutes, until eggplants start to sizzle and cheese has softened – it won’t melt. Serve at once or let cool and serve at room temperature.
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