Wednesday, December 2, 2009


I love watching Giada de Laurentiis as she cooks or travels. All right, all right, maybe she is a bit too perfect. But she traveled to Los Olivos and sampled some marvelous looking stuff: involtini di melanzane, or eggplant rolls, eggplant wrapped around mozzarella, slathered in a mouth watering tomato sauce at Trattoria Grappola, and I just had to have some. So the next time we were wine tasting at my favorite spot, we dropped by the restaurant and ordered it for dinner.

Giada was right, it was heaven.

Lately I've had such a craving! So I've tinkered and modified, and think I've come up with a winner. Particularly because I'm not frying the eggplant, I'm baking it.

Slice the eggplant lengthwise, 1/2 inch slices or so. Place on your tinfoil lined cookie sheet-brush each side with olive oil. Bake 13 minutes at 350 degrees, flip the eggplant, bake another 10 minutes or so until you feel they're cooked through. Remove and cool.

While the eggplant is baking, make your nifty tomato sauce:

Coat the bottom of a saute pan with a thin slick of olive oil. Mince a clove or two of garlic, toss in. Turn heat to medium. Dice and salt three or four tomatoes--or use two cups canned tomatoes. Add to sauce pan. When the tomatoes start to cook down, lower heat and simmer till done. Add some basil leaves for the heck of it. (Oh, color and flavor, too). Ladle half a cup or so to cover the bottom of a small baking dish.

Slice a log of mozzarella, an ounce or so per eggplant. Lay the mozzarella on the center of the eggplant slice, fold over the edged of the eggplant. Place seam side down in the baking dish. Do the same for the rest of your slices. Ladle the rest of the sauce over the eggplant, grate a tablespoon of parmesan cheese on top. Bake in 350 degree oven until heated, and the cheese is happily melting.

Just writing this down makes me want to rush out to Super King and pick up a couple of more eggplants--where are my car keys?


  1. Them's some gorgeous eggplant. I suppose, given a sufficient amount of cheese, I'd bite.

  2. Dear Loyal Reader: Glad to hear you're game!
    Hmmm, apparently eggplant after Thanksgiving isn't on anyone's top ten!

  3. Can we talk about the de Laurentiis chick? I don't trust her for a minute. She is way to thin to actually enjoy cooking, let alone enjoy eating.

  4. And Giada pulls off that near impossible trick of being super thin while having a butt and boobs. How does she do that? Maybe it's the eggplant.

  5. I don't think she eats, I think she nibbles while she cooks.

    The boobs are real, I think. I saw a profile of her from back before she was famous and she had them then. Also, she really came across as a sweet person. Her early TV appearances were just awful - painful to watch. She improved 100%.

    Re the eggplant: I grow it every year and no one in my family will eat it but me. I guess if I stuffed it with cheese that might be my best shot at getting them to try.

  6. All right Susan and Margaret-Confession: I like watching Giada, gorgeous, effervescent, fairly simple recipes with great results. My daughter, however, seems to feel she's probably annoying and controlling at home. I find it interesting her husband is nowhere equivalent in the attractive quota, which makes me wonder what he has to put up with---
    Karen: you are welcome to lob any eggplants my way!