The 9 days began! Dinner #2. Eggplant parmesan baked in a cupcake liner.


Have a spoonful of this!

Wipe your drool ladies and gentleman. Step right up to I Want That For Dinner’s circus themed eggplant parmesan.

((Warning: This dish does not contain frying, time over a hot stove or harm any animals in the process.))

Dinner #2 for the nine days special on my site.

(Check out last night’s light hollandaise omelet, where I explained what the “9 days” are all about! )

Walking through the aisles with my mother at HomeGoods several weeks ago, I had an impulse purchase. Strange for a chef to have an impulse purchase in one of the most addictive stores for cheap foodie finds…Circus themed cupcake liners. Purple and white bold stripes grabbed my attention and yelled at me to take them home. What would I make with them? Absolutely no clue. For sure a cake or dessert of some sort.

Unpacked and onto my shelves they went, and sat in the heat of the summer for weeks. Every time I passed them I felt a sad twinge and knew I had to bake with the liners soon.

Then today happened. Hooray the liners were used at last! Weirdly enough, I used my dessert baking cups for eggplant parm. A lighter, not fried version of my enemy food. Enemy you ask? Eggplant is one of the toughest vegetables for me to cook with. Cook it too much: mush. Undercook it: bitterness that I am scarred from.


The magnificent trio.

My fabulous sister-in-law, Adina, is a talented PA and closet superstar chef. I told her I had an eggplant and she had the solution. I explained how much I despise frying the eggplant; her solution? Bake the eggplant. Not frying yielded the most simple and pure eggplant parmesan I have ever created. Because of my past failures of the parm, I decided to make these into mini eggplant servings just in case the eggplant turned out bitter.

“Yipee” cried my taste buds when I took my first bite of soft eggplant, creamy feta and sweet tomato sauce “cupcakes”.

This will be a repeat dinner offender in the Pliner home…


Layering process of the cups.

Ingredients: Yields 8 mini eggplant parmesan cupcakes.

  • 1 large eggplant. Sliced in half, placed on baking sheet.
  • 1/4 cup of tomato sauce.
  • 1/2 cup of cottage cheese.
  • 1 egg.
  • Feta cheese.
  • Mozzarella cheese.
  • Cornflake crumbs.
  • Olive oil for drizzling.
  • Garlic powder/ salt/ pepper to taste.


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Slice a diamond pattern of slits in the eggplants skin on top and bottom of eggplant. Place into oiled 9 x 13 baking dish. Sprinkle with salt.
  • Cover with foil, bake until eggplant is soft- approx. 30- 40 minutes.
  • While eggplant is baking, mix the cottage cheese with the spices and egg.
  • Allow eggplant to slightly cool once baked, then slice into small 1/2″ pieces for layering.
  • Place baking cups into the 9 x 13 baking dish as pictured above. Begin the layering process: sauce, eggplant, cottage cheese mixture, feta and eggplant. Repeat until cupcake liner is filled.
  • Top each with shredded mozzarella, cornflake crumbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Bake at 375 for 30 minutes until cheese is a crispy golden brown.

Please enjoy and stay tuned for this week of dairy dinners! Thank you very much for coming to my website and hope you enjoyed!

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