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3-Way Grilled Parmesan

Chicken, cauliflower and eggplant (peeled and deseeded) grilled and topped with grilled roma tomatoes (peels and seeds removed), olive tapenade and fontina cheese.

Eggplant parmesan is one of my favorite dishes of all time. But eggplant is not on the Plant Paradox plan. Eggplant is in the nightshade family of vegetables and certain autoimmune diets prohibit it. However, the theory goes that the problem is in the skin and seeds, not in the actual flesh of the fruit. So, like tomatoes, which are okay if you peel and seed them, so should eggplants be!

If you're not comfortable with this logic, then skip the eggplant. And go for a two-way grilled Parmesan dish.

This dish is inspired by the Grilled Eggplant Parmesan recipe by Grace Parisi in the April 2013 edition of Food & Wine. It's a slightly deconstructed version of the breaded, eggplant Parmesan casserole many are familiar with. And this version is grilled, and topped with olive/basil tapenade and fontina cheese. Grilling, rather than breading and baking, and the olive puree give this dish a personality all its own. Read on for the recipe.

The Recipe

(serves 4)

LFG 3-Way Grilled Parmesan

1 Pastured Chicken Boneless Skinless Breast

4 Eggplant Ribbon

2 Center Cut Slices of a Cauliflower Head

2 Roma Tomatoes

1/2 C Kalamata Olive slices

1 C Fresh Basil

2 Cloves Garlic

2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

12 Square slices of Pastured Fontina Cheese

More EVOO for Grilling

Salt and Pepper to taste

More Basil for Garnish


Step 1: Prepare the Chicken & Vegetables for Grilling

Pound the chicken breast to a about 1/4 inch thick and cut into 4 equal pieces. Drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Peel the eggplant, then stand the eggplant on end and cut a 1/2-inch ribbon from top to bottom on one side. Spin the eggplant 90 degrees and cut another ribbon. Repeat until you have 4 ribbons. Next, cut 2, 1 inch slices from the center of your cauliflower head. Lay those slice flat on a cutting surface and cut them in half. Next, peel the tomatoes. To peel tomatoes simply drop them in boiling water for a minute or so and then drop them in an ice bath. Cut the ends off the tomatoes and the skins should pinch right off. Then slice the tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and remove the seeds. Brush all the veggies with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Step 2: Make the Tapenade

Put the olives, basil, garlic and 2 T olive oil in a food processor and pulse until you have a nice course puree. Set aside.

Step 3: Grill the Chicken and Vegetables

On a hot grill, grill the chicken and vegetable for about 3 minutes on each side or until you get a nice char. Do not overcook the chicken! It's thin, so it will cook fast.

Step 4: Slice the Cheese

Slice the fontina cheese into 12 thin squares about 2" x 2"

Step 5: Broil

On a baking sheet covered in parchment paper, build the chicken Parmesan stacks with chicken on bottom followed by grilled Roma tomatoes, tapenade and a fontina cheese slice on top. Repeat for the four pieces of cauliflower. For the eggplant, loosely fold the ribbons in half and build the stacks. Place the sheet on Parmesans under the broiler on high until the cheese bubbles and turns slightly brown.

Plate each serving with one of each flavor Parmesan. Pair with a Pinot Noir. Enjoy!

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