“I hated eggplant as a kid,” says Santina executive chef Ashley Eddie. “If it wasn’t breaded and fried and covered with cheese, I wouldn’t eat it.” But when Santina co-owner Mario Carbone asked her to devise an eggplant-parmigiana recipe that reflected the restaurant’s lighter, fresher (and incidentally gluten-free) coastal-Italian theme, Eddie rose to the challenge. By deconstructing the dish and liberating the nightshade vegetable (berry, actually) from its muffling cloak of cheese and sauce, she highlighted its inherent creaminess, a trait she punctuates by juxtaposing it with the thinnest, crispiest rice-flour-coated shell. Barely cooked tomatoes and warm burrata form a familiar backdrop for the featured ingredient, which is available year-round but happens to be at the peak of its late-summer season.
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On the menu at Santina; $29; 820 Washington St., at Gansevoort St.; 212-254-3000.
*This article appears in the August 20, 2018, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!