Ohhhhh February. We love to hate you. You’re dark. You’re dreary. And, besides Valentine’s Day, there doesn’t seem to be much going on! BUT, Whole Foods Market has given us a delicious reason to celebrate and keeping cheesin’ during this otherwise uneventful month.
At Whole Foods Market, February is the month of Parmigiano Reggiano. This year marks Whole Food’s 10th anniversary of their traditional “Parm Crack” event, where cheesemongers select the highest quality wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano from defined creameries in Northern Italy.
On February 24th, be sure to stop by your local Whole Foods to join in the celebration. At 3pm EST, each store will simultaneously crack wheels of cheese, with live demonstrations and plenty of cheese tastings! AND all Parmigiano Reggiano will be on sale from 2/23-/25 at $5 off per lb.
To put that Parmesan cheese to good use, I took a lighter take on my favorite Italian comfort dish: eggplant parmesan. What these stuffed eggplant parm boats lack in deep-fried breading, they definitely make up for with tons of cheesy flavor that is sure to satisfy. Plus, the eggplant doubles as a “bowl” – meaning fewer dishes for you 😉
Delicious stuffed eggplant boats baked instead of fried and topped with Parmigiano Reggiano.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 6 oz. chopped mushrooms
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes!)
- 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
- 1/4 cup halved green olives
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh basil (can use dried if you don’t have fresh!)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (or more, if you’re like me and need the heat!)
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. Scoop out the insides and place in a separate bowl. Brush the insides of the eggplant with olive oil. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan on the stove. Add zucchini, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes. Sauté until soft, about 10-12 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms, eggplant. Continue to cook until vegetables are soft.
- Add the fresh tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, olives, and spices. Combine until spices are well incorporated.
- Turn stove off. Using a spoon, divide the mixture into the eggplant halves.
- Sprinkle Parmigiano on top and bake in oven for 30 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh basil and more cheese!
Make sure to head to your local Whole Foods Market between 2/23-2/25 to pick up some of your own Parmigiano Reggiano and experience that Parm Crack event for yourself!