Saturday, January 16, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

Afraid of eggplant? Don't be. A bit like eating lasagna, this dish is a tomatoey, cheesy, healthier than pasta one. It's light and delicious too, without leaving you feel like you've eaten something you shouldn't. Pair it up with a tossed green salad and some garlic bread.

I had to bribe Jake to leave the leftovers alone so I could get a picture.

Adapted from Crazy Plates
1 cup unseasoned, dry bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp basil
4 egg whites (I'm lazy-I used 2 whole eggs)
1/2 tsp salt (optional. I never add it)
2 med eggplants (about 2 lbs)
Olive oil cooking spray
3-4 cups your favorite pasta sauce (depends on how saucy you like it)
1 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

In a shallow dish or pie plate, stir together the Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, and basil. Set aside.

Crack the eggs in another shallow dish and beat them. Set aside.

Pre-heat your oven to 400 F

Take the eggplants and cut them crosswise into about 8 pieces. Don't peel it. I usually end up cutting them thinner than that, and end up with more. It's not really a big deal if you do that. Working assembly line style, dip the egg plant into the egg, and then into the bread crumb mixture. Set them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. When you are finished with the eggplants, spray them lightly with the olive oil spray.

If you don't have the spray you can drizzle a little butter over each one. Bake them for 15 minutes, and then turn them over and bake 15 minutes more until they are tender.

To assemble the dish, cover the bottom of a 9x13 dish with about 1 cup of pasta sauce. Top with 1/2 the eggplant slices, then spoon over more sauce and top with about 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat by topping with the other 1/2 of the eggplant slices, and then topping with more cheese and another 1/2 cup mozzarella.

I always use more cheese then the original recipe calls for, by mixing in some more Parmesan and sometimes even Cheddar.

Bake at 400 F, uncovered for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately.

Serves 6
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