This cheesy pull-apart eggplant is a great way to up the veggie quotient in your day. It works great as an appetizer or side dish. I served this as part of my Casual Italian Buffet so people could just pick away at it at their leisure. I admit I did have to put a sharp knife beside it. It is a bit of a balancing act to score the eggplant but not cut all the way through and be able to just pull the portion off. No one seemed to mind.
If you like eggplant you will love this! If you are not crazy about eggplant this just might be the presentation that will change your mind!
You can vary this up. I used prepared pesto sauce and grated cheese. If you like heat you could sprinkle some red pepper flakes over it as well. Tomato sauce would probably taste good but I think it would be too messy. I think I will try it next time with olive oil and dhukka spice for a middle eastern twist! This would be great as a party appetizer or a side dish. As a matter of fact it would make a great side dish to something with a tomato sauce… messy problem solved!
I was tempted to sprinkle panko crumbs over it during the last 15 minutes of baking but decided to keep it low carb. I will probably try that next time I make it.
Make sure to get the pesto and cheese into all the crevices creating by the scoring. If you miss any you will just have a plain roasted eggplant chunk. No fun in that!
You can prepare the eggplant a day ahead of time and seal in the foil. Remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before starting to bake it.
Let it rest 5-10 minutes after you take it out of the oven before serving or it will be too hot.