Disclaimer: In exchange for promoting The Delicious Food Show, I received a media pass to attend the event. I was not otherwise compensated for this post, and all opinions are my own!
One of the things I love the most about living so close to Toronto is all the great food events in the city. It seems like every month (heck, every week) there’s a new food festival or event being promoted on Twitter. It’s hard to keep up with!
One event that I’m particularly excited for is the Delicious Food Show, happening October 17-19 at the Direct Energy Centre. It’s going to be three days of exhibitors, cooking demos, tastings, workshops, appearances by Food Network and celebrity chefs, and of course lots of good food! If you’re interested in attending, check out their website and be sure to follow the event on Twitter and Facebook.
One person than I’m excited to see there is Lucinda Scala Quinn, who is the Executive Editorial Director of food for Martha Stewart Living Magazine, and also the author of 4 books. She will be doing a hands on workshop on Saturday at 2:30 pm as a part of the Exclusive Chef Series. And based on her Eggplant Parm Stacks recipe that I’ve been given permission to share, I bet she’ll be cooking something delicious!
Eggplant Parm Stacks
Excerpted from Mad Hungry Cravings by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books). Copyright 2013. Photographs by Jonathan Lovekin.
Serves 8 | Vegetarian
2 eggplants (2-1/2 pounds total),
sliced 1/3 inch thick (24 slices total)
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup fine bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
3 cups Italian Tomato Sauce (recipe follows) or other tomato sauce
A 1-pound ball fresh mozzarella, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (24 slices total)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F with a rack in the center position. Preheat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat.
2. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with 1/3 cup of the olive oil and season with the salt. Working in batches, add to the grill pan and cook, flipping once, until charred and soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a platter or baking sheet.
3. Combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, pepper, herbs, and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a medium bowl.
4. Place 8 slices of the grilled eggplant on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Top each with 2 tablespoons tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon of the bread crumb mixture, and a slice of mozzarella. Repeat to make 2 more layers.
6. Bake for about 30 minutes, until soft, golden, and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Italian Tomato Sauce
Makes 3 cups, enough for 1 pound of pasta
1-1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, pulsed in a blender to a semichunky consistency
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 basil sprig (optional)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)
1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Swirl in the olive oil to coat the pan. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic and pepper flakes and stir constantly for 30 seconds, just long enough to release the garlic’s fragrance; don’t cook it to golden.
2. Stir in the tomatoes and salt, raise the heat to high, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until the sauce is slightly reduced and a deep tomato color. Add the basil sprig in the last 5 minutes of cooking, if using. Remove the basil before serving and swirl in the butter, if desired.
Toronto folks: will I see you there?