Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 10 mins
Adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe, this cooking method is healthier, hearty, no-frying, and low mess. Pretty darned tasty, too. I don't bother to make marinara sauce, but use Victoria brand; it's pricy but tastes wonderful. A good pizza sauce like Muir Glen would work well, too. Multiplies easily for more servings. Eggplants can be pre-cooked 1 day ahead, kept covered, and chill. Entire dish can be assembled 4 hours ahead and refrigerated until baking.
- Preheat oven to 400°. Using a vegetable peeler, remove skin from rounded side of each eggplant half, leaving a 1” strip of skin around the cut edges; this will hold the eggplant together during cooking. Place eggplant, 2 tablespoons oil in an eight or nine inch baking dish. Turn eggplant to coat with oil; season with salt and pepper and place cut side down. Cover baking dish tightly with foil and bake until eggplants are very soft, 40–45 minutes.
- Toss breadcrumbs and remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a medium bowl. Turn eggplant halves cut side up in the baking dish. Top eggplant halves with tomato sauce and mozzarella, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Bake until mozzarella is bubbling and breadcrumbs are golden, 25–30 minutes.