Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli's Eggplant Parmigiana — Meatless Monday

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04_Eggplant_Parmigiana_013.tif

Food Stylist: Cyd Raftus McDowell Prop StylistL Marina Malchin

Photo by: Christina Holmes

Christina Holmes

Don't let the fact that this recipe was created by an Iron Chef fool you into thinking that it's difficult to make or features particularly unusual cooking techniques. Alex Guarnaschelli's Eggplant Parmigiana (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is simply a dressed-up version of an Italian classic, and is in fact easy to prepare at home.

The secret to her family-friendly dish is the garlic-laced tomato sauce, made deliciously sweet not by the dash of sugar she adds (that's there to balance the acidity of the tomatoes) but by the onions that are slowly cooked until tender and translucent. To make this all-in-one meal, she coats slices of eggplant in herbed breadcrumbs, then fries them and layers the golden-brown beauties in a deep baking dish with the tomato sauce and a trio of cheeses including mozzarella, provolone and parmesan. After 40 minutes in the oven, the top layer of mozzarella will be melted and bubbling and each tier of eggplant will be piping hot and ready to enjoy.

For a next-level twist on tried-and-true eggplant parmesan, look to Jeff Mauro's Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan (pictured right). In true Sandwich King form, Jeff transforms the traditional casserole-style dish into an eat-with-your-hands sandwich. This towering between-bun creation is piled high with crispy fried eggplant and balsamic-roasted tomatoes, plus creamy burrata cheese and just a sprinkling of pickled cherry peppers to cut through the richness of the dish. After assembling the sandwiches, Jeff says to "serve to applause," and you can be sure that your family will be impressed with this top-rated recipe.

Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.

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