Roasted Eggplant with Tomato and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Roasted Eggplant with Tomato and Parmigiano-Reggiano

If you can’t find slender, smaller eggplants, you can use large, firm eggplants, but be sure to taste a piece raw. If it seems bitter, salt the diced eggplant and let drain in a colander set over a bowl for 20 to 30 minutes. You will see beads of moisture coming to the surface. Rinse off the salt, pat the pieces thoroughly dry, and proceed with the recipe


Serves 4

1 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 pounds long, slender eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

1/2 large white or yellow onion, cut into medium dice

One 14.5-ounce can whole tomatoes

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 basil leaves

6 ounces coarsely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

2. Set a large skillet over medium heat and pour in 1/2 cup olive oil. When the oil is warm, after  about a minute or so, add half of the diced eggplant. (You want to shallow-fry the eggplant in batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pan; otherwise, the eggplant will end up steaming or braising, which would result in less flavor and a mushier texture. Of course, if you have two large pans, you can cook both batches at once.)

3. Cook the eggplant, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until you get some nice color and crispness, about 7 minutes.

4. Add 1 clove garlic and cook for another minute, then add half the onion and cook for another 3 minutes or so, until the onion gets some caramelization too.

5. Add half the tomatoes to the pan and cook, stirring now and then and breaking up the tomatoes with the wooden spoon, until a light sauce forms, about 10 minutes.

6. Season the eggplant mixture with salt and pepper and add 1 basil leaf to the pan. Give everything a quick stir, then transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish and set aside.  Repeat with the remaining 1/2 cup oil, eggplant, garlic, onions, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and basil. Add to the baking dish and stir to combine.

7. Pop the dish, uncovered, into the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until the eggplant is soft but not too soft—you still want some texture there.

8. Scatter the Parmigiano over the eggplant and bake for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbling.

9. Remove the dish from the oven and let cool to your preferred temperature. You can eat this hot, at room temperature, or cold.

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Roasted Eggplant with Tomato and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Welcome to “FIRED UP! A SOUTHERN SMOKE FESTIVAL KICKOFF BENEFIT,” five weeks of livestream cooking classes, with recipes, from five world famous Southern Smoke Chefs. And all net proceeds are donated to the Southern Smoke Foundation and matched by YETI, up to $25,000! You can purchase individual classes for $25 or the entire package for $100 ($25 savings). For each livestream, YETI will be giving one lucky winner (five winners total) a special prize package featuring the participating chef's favorite cookbook and featured YETI product(s).

This individual livestream invites you into the kitchen with Chef & Pizzaiolo Chris Bianco, as he teaches viewers how to make Roasted Eggplant with Tomato and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Southern Smoke Foundation founder Chef Chris Shepherd will join in as co-host.

If you can’t make the livestream, you’ll have exclusive lifetime access to the on-demand library and recipes.



The Southern Smoke Festival fundraiser invites America's most celebrated chefs and personalities to bring their bold flavors to Houston, TX Oct. 21-23 for an unforgettable three-day weekend of bites, local libations and live music all for a great cause - provide financial assistance and access to mental health care to anyone in crisis in the food and beverage industry nationwide. The Southern Smoke Foundation has distributed more than $10 million directly to people in need.



"FIRED UP! A SOUTHERN SMOKE FESTIVAL KICKOFF BENEFIT" starts Friday, Sept. 23 at 6:15PM EST with Southern Smoke Founder Chef Chris Shepherd. The full lineup is below:

Friday 9/23, 6:15PM - Chris Shepherd’s Herb-Marinated Pork Loin with Sweet Soy Baked Beans

Monday 9/26, 6:15PM - Chris Bianco's Roasted Eggplant with Tomato and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Monday 10/3, 6:15PM - Sarah Grueneberg's Pallotte Verdi with Pesto Dip (Kale & Bread Meatless Meatballs)

Monday 10/10, 6:15PM - Claudette Zepeda's Albondigas al Chipotle (Chipotle Meatballs) with a Paloma Cocktail with Orange and Ginger

Monday 10/17, 6:15PM - Tavel Bristol-Joseph's Jerk Ribeye Steak with Coleslaw



Please purchase the event for yourself and send an email to with the name, email address and phone number of the person you want to receive the gift.



If you're interested in supporting Southern Smoke further, head to their website at the DONATE link below. Every time you buy a festival ticket, piece of merch, or bid on an auction item, the profits directly support the Emergency Relief Fund and general operations, which gets industry individuals financial help just as soon as they need it.

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