Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Even though I am not the biggest eggplant fan on the planet, the Grahams like it, so I do make it every once in a while. This is by far one of my favorite ways to eat it. It loses the sliminess that I'm not a fan of in eggplant, and with cheese and tomato sauce, well, it tastes pretty dang good.

1 medium eggplant (about 1 lb), peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
2 eggs
splash of water
1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbes
2 tsp Italian Seasoning
salt and pepper
1 jar of marinara sauce
11/2 cups mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup Parmesan

Beat the eggs and water in a shallow pan. Mix bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in another shallow pan. Dip slices of eggplant in the egg then bread crumb mixture and place on an oiled baking sheet(s). Bake the eggplant at 350 for about 15 minutes, until bread crumbs are brown and it's a bit crispy. If using two baking sheets, switch them half way through, and maybe bake 5 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Spread 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of a square baking dish. Layer eggplant, mozzarella, parm, sauce and repeat. Make the last layer mozzarella and Parmesan. Put it back in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes until it's bubbly and cheese is melted.

We had this with spinach. And it was good.
*Eggplant is naturally low in calories and contains no fat, until it's dropped into a vat of fat. Baking the eggplant rather than frying it like for traditional Eggplant Parmesan drastically reduces the fat. Using the panko crumbs helps it retain it's crunch. I would venture to say I actually like the baked version better than the mushy, greasy traditional version. Using low-fat cheeses helps keep it healthy, too.

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