We were at a wonderful olive oil "factory" in Puglia, Italy and they served a fabulous Eggplant Parmesan dish with no tomato sauce.
It was even more like an Eggplant Lasagna as the eggplant was sliced excruciatingly thin, layered, cooked in a casserole and served in small cubes as an antipasti.
We originally thought the layers were pasta but it turned out it was all white eggplant. This dish had no breading or pan fried eggplant. It was a light but creamy sauce. I've pulled up a few recipes that come close but not quite.
I think I can pull it together but my question is the treatment of the eggplant slices. They are, at this moment, sliced very thin and salted. They will be resting for an hour or so.
So my question is - since they are so thin and this dish will be baked with some moisture (milk, eggs, a small amount of cheese and I've even seen a recipe that calls for grated zucchini between the layers which would also add moisture), do I need to pre-cook the slices ?
My plan was to bake or broil them on cookie sheets instead of pan frying them the way you would for a traditional EP Parm or Moussaka. Or will they become just a giant eggplant mush? Will they be too tough to the bite if I don't?
I am sure the variety of eggplant would make the difference as well but I can only use what is available to me in Northern CA - the large purple ones.