Garden to Table- Eggplant

When summer hits, we are also hit with a glut of vegetables from the garden. Actually not MY garden. We learned that we just cannot keep up with raising and eating as much as a few plants produce and we don’t have a big freezer or a lot of storage space for jars. I buy once or twice a week from  my local farmer who only sells what she grows and sometimes walk by the community gardens and if i run into my friend Gianbattista, he always gives me something.



He always takes us on a tour of the gardens, showing with pride all his plants in the orto. Then he will go and harvest something for us to take home, the last time there was a nice round violet eggplant.



Not only did we score for the vegetables,but he gave me a recipe for an stuffed eggplant. His twist is fabulous and I really wanted to share the recipe. Normally people cut the eggplant in half and fill with meat. His recipe is more like a sandwich. In Naples, they make a mozzarella in carozza, which is two layers of white bread, crusts removed with a slice of mozzarella in the middle. Then the bread is egged and breadcrumbed and panfrieds. I spice mine up by adding some salt cured capers or sun-dried tomatoes.  Gianbattista’s recipe is ham and cheese, so sort of a eggplant cordon bleu? a eggplant croque monsieur? It’s  not important what you call it, but you should try it!





Melanzane Ripiene- Stuffed Eggplant

1 round violet eggplant

sliced ham

sliced cheese

1 egg

1/2 cup breadcrumbs or more.



Slice the eggplant. It does not need to be salted.

Place ham and cheese slices inside, do not let them go beyond the edge of the eggplant.

Dust the eggplant in flour, then dip in the beaten egg and then roll in breadcrumbs, be sure to roll all the sides too.


Cover the bottom of the pan with oil, I can use extra virgin i buy locally, but if you are not sure, use sunflower oil or corn oil.

Cook on one side until crispy, then flip and fry on the other side.

Lightly salt before serving.



For those of you who haven’t gotten a copy of my printed cookbook- Secrets From My Tuscan  Kitchen—

I just released an ebook version of the book for Kindle. It is a perfect gift for kids going to college, or friends that love Tuscany!


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September and October are sold out, I will be in Sicily with two groups from the 7-24 then have three one week custom programs in Chianti.


Am hoping to put a  date up for November when the olive oil should be pressed. Praying that this year there are no problems.


If you are coming on your own to Chianti this fall, don’t forget to bring my Chianti:Food&Wine app.