I love all these gimicky recipes online, that you try once and then forget about.
I saw this cool method on a few instagram sites, called an eggplant "boat" or eggplant "fan". Why not call it Hasselback Eggplant?
Whatever you call it, it's a great way to prepare eggplant.
I shared it with a friend for lunch, and it was divine.
Most recipes use sliced tomatoes and slices of mozzarella in between the layers, like a Caprese....but I did my own thing, using feta and sweet cherry tomatoes mixed w/ fresh herbs from my garden.
Here is how I made this pretty thing:
A tip: Make a lot of stuffing and pack it tight.
1 large in season eggplant, sliced into 1/6 even slices, keeping the stem in tact
thinly sliced tomatoes or cherry tomatoes sliced thin (not easy to do!)
crumbled feta cheese
chopped mint, basil, and fresh oregano
kosher salt & pepper
seasoned panko breadcrumbs
Parmesan cheese on top (optional)
Slice your eggplant into 1/6, and spread out like a fan, keeping the stem intact (don't cut thru the stem, this will hold it together like a handle).
Lay the fanned eggplant on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Season the eggplant liberally with kosher salt, trying to get the salt into the slices (I only use Diamond Kosher Salt). Salting the eggplant will help absorb the moisture in the vegetable.
Let the eggplant sit for 30 minutes on the baking sheet.
If using the cherry tomato recipe, then slice them thin (use a sharp knife) and add to a bowl with crumbled feta. Season with kosher salt & pepper.
Add in the chopped fresh herbs and drizzle with olive oil. Mix all together.
Carefully, stuff the tomato mixture in between the eggplant slices.......if using sliced mozzarella and larger tomatoes (easier method), then overlap the slices in between the layers of eggplant.
Pack in as much stuffing as you can!
Next, sprinkle seasoned breadcrumbs (I like panko) over the top and layers of the eggplant. Parmgiano Reggiano also if you like.
Drizzle with more olive oil.
I put a skewer thru the bottom of the eggplant to hold it together during the baking because it started to fall apart.
Bake 40 minutes at 375F.
Turn on the broiler, and broil for 2 minutes only, so the top is nice and golden brown.
I spooned pesto over the top while still warm out of the oven, and when cool enough to remove, take the skewer out and cut into slices.