Awhile back I decided to try my hand at my first ever eggplant parmesean. Since recently discovering how to properly prepare eggplant, I’m now on the hunt for various ways to use eggplants in cooking. Eggplant parmesean is a hearty classic and after doing a bit of research, I came up with a recipe that worked for me. I decided to bake the eggplant, rather than fry it and to cut back on the quantity of cheese and sauce in order to make this decadent dish a bit lighter.
*According to a recent feature in Cooking Light Magazine, a single serving of eggplant parm can contain as many as one thousand calories. This version is still substantial, but more likely in the 400 calorie range depending on serving size.
1 good sized eggplant (sliced, salted, rinsed, and dried)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (or panko crumbs)
Splash of milk
A dash of salt, basil and oregano
1 to 2 cups shredded mozzerella cheese (depending on how cheesy you like it)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesean or romano cheese
1 jar of organic marinara sauce (use 1/2 to 3/4 of the jar depending on your preference)
Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, combine eggs and milk and whisk together to make an egg wash. In a separate small bowl, mix breadcrumbs, salt, oregano, and basil. Dredge the eggplant slices in eggwash and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Coat each slice well and evenly. Line eggplant on a cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes until breadcrumbs are fragrant and golden brown.
Pour just enough marinara sauce in the bottom of a rectangular glass baking dish. Next, layer the dish with the eggplant slices, to cover the bottom of the dish. Add a bit of sauce and shredded mozzerella. Then, layer on a bit more eggplant and repeat with a layer of marinara and cheese. Use as much or as little sauce as you like, depending on your taste. I wanted to keep the eggplant a bit crispy so I used less sauce between layers. I also only used about 1/2 a jar of marinara sauce. Cover last layer of eggplant with a good bit of sauce, mozzerella and shredded parmesean. Bake for 30 to 40 min, until cheese is slightly browned and bubbly.
Slice and serve it up hot with a bright green salad or whole wheat noodles. It’s a perfect dish to take for leftovers to work.
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