We're working on an Italian inspired dinner for a good friend's 50th birthday party this weekend. It's a buffet and we're exploring several different vegetable options to go alongside the heartier meat offerings. I came across a version of Eggplant Parmigiana in Susan Hermann Loomis' Italian Farmhouse Cookbook that featured broiled eggplant slices with a fresh tomato sauce and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. I loved the thought of a lighter version of the Italian American classic, especially as part of a buffet and we decided to use that as an inspiration for our interpretation of the dish. When Alex suggested seasoning it with harissa powder I paused, it was certainly non-traditional but I could see how the flavors would weave together. We ended up making a seasoning blend of harissa powder, sea salt, and grated parmigiano cheese. It was quite frankly amazing and helped us create a dish to remember. Sometimes crossing cultural lines pays off by creating something exceptionally delicious.