A few weeks back, I took a trip to our local Farmers’ Market where I bought some honkin’ veggies and fresh herbs. I got home and realized I had all the ingredients for Eggplant Parmesan, a dish I've always enjoyed but never made myself.
I set out in search for a recipe that was:
1.) Not fried – I’m not a fan of mushy eggplant, plus I wanted it to be a bit healthier
2.) Full of flavor - most Eggplant Parmesan’s I’ve tried have been a little lighter on the spices, and I really wanted mine to have a yummy Italian flare.
When I saw this recipe from Cooking Light, I knew I was on the right track. With a few adjustments, it became just what I was looking for – the breading on the eggplant was just right for my taste, the fresh basil throughout gave it a nice kick of flavor, and the best part . . .the eggplant is baked, which means that you don’t suffer from the fried-food coma afterwards.
Eggplant Parmesan -- adapted from Cooking Light
- 1 Large Eggplant (I cut mine into about 6 medium-thick slices)
- 1 TBSP water
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 c. bread crumbs
- 1/4 c. grated Parmesan
- Cooking spray
- 1/2 c. torn fresh basil
- 1/4 c. Parmesan
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 (8oz) container part-skim ricotta
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 (24oz) jar pasta sauce
- 3 slices of fresh provolone cheese
- pasta noodles of your choice
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
To make eggplant, combine 1 egg + water in a shallow dish. Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan in another shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture, then in breadcrumbs; shake of excess. Line on a baking sheet coated in cooking spray. Cook for 30 minutes or until golden; turning once after 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare your filling. Combine all filling ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
To assemble, spoon 1/2 c. pasta sauce in the bottom of a deep glass baking dish, coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant over sauce. Top with about 3/4 cup of pasta sauce; spread half of ricotta mixture on top and top with provolone (I cut 1 slice into 2). Repeat layers once, ending with sauce.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil, top with shredded cheese of your choice and bake for 10 more minutes. Serve over warm pasta noodles or by itself.