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Thread: What should I serve with eggplant parmesan?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA

    What should I serve with eggplant parmesan?

    I could use some suggestions...I am having trouble coming up with something exciting to serve with the eggplant parmesan that I'm going to make for a family dinner on Wednesday night. I normally turn to pasta, but a heavy slow-cooked tomato sauce doesn't sound good in this heat. I was just going to use a bottle of Newman's Sockarooni sauce to lay the eggplant slices on (and then top with cheese).

    Someone on this bb posted a recipe for an uncooked tomato sauce, but do you think the fresh sauce (on the pasta) would "go" with the bottled sauce (on the eggplant)? Maybe I should just go with a pasta that doesn't use red sauce...see? I'm stuck.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    North Texas
    Have you tried the CL recipe for Eggplant Parmesan? I think it's great and it's light and you make your own sauce. I'm having trouble picturing pasta as a side, although I can't remember what I served with this, unless it was just a nice green salad and bread.

    ETA: Here is the Eggplant Parmesan recipe.
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Fairfax, Virginia
    Nothing fancy or different, but we usually have a mixed greens salad and crusty bread with eggplant parmesan.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Kenmore NY, near Buffalo
    Quote Originally Posted by tigermorris View Post
    Nothing fancy or different, but we usually have a mixed greens salad and crusty bread with eggplant parmesan.
    exactly. you probably think that because there's no meat, you'll be hungry if you don't go mega-carb on the side. But eggplant is filling and hearty in this dish. A tangy green salad and bread for sopping the sauce is really ALL you NEED.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    San Francisco
    If I were to serve pasta with it I might use those wide egg noodles and dress it with garlic-infused olive oil and loads of fresh basil and parsley. This doesn't fit the "exciting" category but I would probably also serve sautéed zucchini (cut thick so it stays crisp-tender) with oregano.
    Happiness is not a goal, it is a byproduct. - Eleanor Roosevelt

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    The parmesan is filling, you don't need pasta too. A green salad and maybe a veggie like steamed green beans or asparagus drizzled with olive oil and lemon zest.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Charleston, SC

    I want pasta....

    I must be alone, I don't like Eggplant parmesan without pasta to go with it. I think of a bit of pasta, a salad and some crusty bread. I just saw a light recipe for Chicken Parm on America's Test Kitchen (Cooks Illustrated) and I think they served that with plain pasta (maybe with some olive oil and parmesan cheese---it definitely didn't have extra red sauce on top). It looked yummy and I plan to attempt their technique w/ eggplant.

    Lighter Chicken Parmesan with Simple Tomato Sauce
    Published: October 25, 2006
    Serves 6

    If you are tight on time, you can substitute 2 cups of your favorite plain tomato sauce for the Simple Tomato Sauce. Two cups of fresh bread crumbs can be substituted for the panko (they will shrink as they toast). Because these cutlets are breaded, we found that one cutlet per person was plenty—but try to buy the largest chicken breasts you can to ensure good-sized portions.
    1 1/2 cups panko (Japanese-style bread crumbs)
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup), plus extra for serving
    1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
    Table salt and ground black pepper
    3 large egg whites
    1 tablespoon water
    Vegetable cooking spray
    3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 8 ounces each), trimmed of excess fat and sliced into cutlets
    2 cups tomato sauce , warmed (see below)
    3 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3/4 cup)
    1 tablespoon minced fresh basil

    Simple Tomato Sauce
    1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    4 medium cloves garlic , minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 4 teaspoons)
    1 tablespoon tomato paste
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
    Table salt and ground black pepper

    See Illustrations Below: Preparing the Chicken Cutlets

    1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 475 degrees. Combine the bread crumbs and oil in a 12-inch skillet and toast over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, about 10 minutes. Spread the bread crumbs in a shallow dish and cool slightly; when cool, stir in the Parmesan.
    2. In a second shallow dish, combine the flour, garlic powder, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper together. In a third shallow dish, whisk the egg whites and water together.
    3. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, place a wire rack on top, and spray the rack with vegetable oil spray. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge the cutlets in the flour, shaking off the excess, then dip into the egg whites, and finally coat with the bread crumbs, Press on the bread crumbs to make sure they adhere. Lay the chicken on the wire rack.
    4. Spray the tops of the chicken with vegetable oil spray. Bake until the meat is no longer pink in the center and feels firm when pressed with a finger, about 15 minutes.
    5. Remove the chicken from the oven. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the sauce onto the center of each cutlet and top the sauce with 2 tablespoons of the mozzarella. Return the chicken to the oven and continue to bake until the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the basil and serve, passing the remaining sauce and Parmesan separately.
    For Simple Tomato Sauce:
    Pulse the tomatoes in a food processor until mostly smooth, about ten 1-second pulses; set aside. Cook the garlic, tomato paste, oil, and pepper flakes in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the tomato paste begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pureed tomatoes and cook until the sauce is thickened and measures 2 cups, about 20 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside until needed.
    Per Serving:
    Cal 310; Fat 8 g; Sat fat 2.5 g; Chol 75 mg; Carb 20 g; Protein 38 g; Fiber 1 g; Sodium 790 mg
    Feeling lucky in this life.....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Ozone Park, NY
    When my mother makes Eggplant Parmesan, she never really makes it by itself. She mixes up the eggplant slices with the pasta (cooked) and sticks it in the oven so that the top is crispy and yummy.

    It's like baked ziti with eggplant parmesan in one.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Agoura Hills, CA
    I would keep it simple by making a green salad making sure to add tomato and Italian seasonings with fresh basil and an easy dressing on top. By adding a teaspoon of the seasonings, it mirrors the eggplant bring the two flavors together. And of course, make sure you have good bread.
    Last edited by patty520; 08-06-2007 at 03:38 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Thanks for the ideas, everyone. I would be more than happy with serving a salad and bread along with the eggplant, but we have some hearty eaters that might feel a bit more satisfied with something else in addition. Plus, I use the eggplant parm recipe from WWTOT, and it's more like eggplant cutlets with a dab of sauce and a bit of cheese, and less like a big gooey cheesy casserole.

    Angelina, I like the idea of putting the eggplant on top of the pasta and serving it that way.

    Thanks, again!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Columbus, OH USA
    I'm late to the dance, as usual, but wanted to say that we had EP last night for dinner ~ the eggplant was our first from the garden ~ and we put it over some lightly dressed pasta salad that had grilled veggies in it, added fresh tomato sauce and served with steamed green beans. Very good, filling meal. Hope yours turned out good too!
    You can't drink rum on the beach all day if you don't start in the morning.

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