Give your dining room the feel of a swanky Italian restaurant by hosting a wine tasting event complete with a satisfying meal.
Next time you want to host date night dinner at your house, stop by your grocer's wine section. Most stores have a wine expert – ask for one if wine selection gives you anxiety. Skip the merlot or any wine you typically drink and go for unfamiliar varieties like Malbec, Torrontés, or Carmenere. The names might sound pricey, but you can find good options that won't break the bank. Remove the labels, add a number to each bottle, and provide a place where your guests can write notes about which one they like best or what flavors they notice in the wine. Leave out a few pieces of chocolate and let the tasting begin. Serve the favorite choice with dinner.
This eggplant parmesan can be prepped ahead of time so you can partake in the tasting with your guests. The recipe can be easily altered for any size group and would pair well with a Malbec, Amarone, or Chianti.
Spinach-stuffed eggplant parmesan
- One large eggplant
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cups panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 8 slices of provolone cheese
- 2 cups of fresh spinach
- 2 eggs
- Olive oil
- 1 jar of marinara sauce
- In a flat, shallow dish mix together flour, breadcrumbs, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Crack the eggs in another dish.
Slice eggplant into 16 thin pieces. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg until coated and then dip into the breading mixture. Press the breading onto the eggplant if it doesn't stick easily.
- Drizzle olive oil into a sauté pan and cook eggplant on medium high heat until the outside is brown and crispy. Place one layer of the slices in a lasagna pan, top with spinach, and then place another piece of eggplant on top. Cover with marinara sauce and top each pile with a slice of cheese.
- Bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling. Prepare your pasta and serve eggplant with a side of pasta. Top with extra sauce if needed.
More Vegetarian Recipes
more date night dishes