Roasted Crisp-Topped Eggplant with Chickpeas


2 cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 jar (28 ounces) of your favorite marinara sauce

1 large or 2 small eggplants, stemmed and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds (about 11/4 pounds)

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided use

1 teaspoon salt, divided use

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Heaping 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

2 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic (about 4 cloves)


Step 1

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with a rack in the center position. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

Step 2

Stir together the chickpeas and marinara sauce in a medium-size bowl until combined. Spread the mixture evenly on the prepared sheet pan. Arrange the eggplant slices on top of the chickpeas, overlapping them very slightly. Drizzle the eggplant with 1/4 cup of the olive oil and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil and roast until the eggplant has softened, about 30 minutes.

Step 3

Meanwhile, make the breadcrumb topping: Stir together the panko, Parmesan, rosemary, thyme, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, the pepper, herbes de Provence, garlic, and the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a medium-size bowl to combine.

Step 4

When the eggplant has roasted for 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and uncover it. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture in a thick layer on top of the eggplant slices. Roast uncovered, rotating the pan halfway, until the eggplant is tender and the breadcrumbs are deeply toasted brown, an additional 20 to 25 minutes. Serve hot. Makes 6 servings.