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Skillet-Baked Eggplant with Tomatoes and Mozzarella
This isn’t exactly eggplant Parmesan, but it’s a cheesy, tomatoey, one-skillet dish with an equally high comfort-food quotient that’s much easier to make. We skip the messy breading on the eggplant and brown the slices naked, then simmer them in a garlicky tomato-basil sauce. For textural contrast, we garnish the dish after baking with toasted panko breadcrumbs that have been mixed with salty, savory pecorino cheese. Italian eggplant is the type to use here; they’re smaller, thinner-skinned and less seedy than standard globe eggplants, but not as slim as Japanese or Chinese varieties. Serve with a warm crusty Italian loaf—or better yet, with slices of buttery garlic bread.
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
cup panko breadcrumbs