Friday, February 1

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Even though I’ve converted my fiancĂ© into liking eggplant (with this, this, and this), there’s still a little bit of a competitive side that comes out when I make a meal like this that forces me to say, “See? Isn’t this delicious?”. But really, it’s not hard to convince anyone to like eggplant parmesan, even a slightly healthier (and easier) take on the classic dish. The crispy-crusted eggplant gets layered with tomato sauce, basil, and a lot of mozzarella before baking into bubbling, cheesy goodness. I like it even better than my chicken parm, which is saying a lot. This recipe will feed an army – I served it to some friends who all had seconds and we still had leftovers – but it tastes even better then next day.

Baked Eggplant Parmesan:
  • Slice two large eggplants in 1/2" rounds.
  • In a large shallow bowl, beat 3 egg whites and season with salt and pepper.
  • In another shallow bowl, add in 2 c. panko breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper.
  • Coat eggplant in egg white, then in breadcrumbs, and place in a single layer on two large, lightly oiled baking sheets.
  • Bake eggplant in a 375F oven for 20-30 minutes, or until tender and lightly golden.
  • Meanwhile, add a thin layer of marinara sauce* to the bottom of a large baking dish.
  • Add in a layer of the eggplant, then more tomato sauce, then several leaves of fresh basil, and then sprinkle with grated mozzarella cheese.**
  • Repeat layering until all the eggplant is used, ending with a layer of tomato sauce and cheese.
  • Top the dish with 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese and place in a 375F oven.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling.
  • Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then slice and sprinkle with a little chopped basil.

Serves six-ten
*You will need 2 jars of tomato sauce total.
**You will need about 1 lb. total.