Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Recipe: Easy Eggplant Parmesan

On Tuesdays in our town is the local Farmers Market. I love walking down there and admiring the fresh produce. It's a small town so it's a small Farmers Market but I always manage to walk away with something. This particular Tuesday it was two beautiful looking eggplants. Aren't eggplants just the most gorgeous purple color? I love them. I wasn't sure what I was going to make with them but I bought them anyway and I'm so glad I did.

Easy Eggplant Parmesan
(I apologize that I don't have a tantalizing photo of the dish but I didn't think to take one before we devoured it. As soon as we make it again I'll take a picture and amend this post.)

Makes 6 servings

- 2 eggplants (peeled and cut into discs)
- sea salt
- 2 egg whites, 1 whole egg, beaten
- bread crumbs (Italian seasoned or add dried basil, oregano and parsley to plain breadcrumbs) *I added about 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese to my bread crumbs as well.
- olive oil
- grated parmesan cheese
- shredded mozzarella (8 oz bag if you're being good, 16 oz if you like cheese; or better yet, shred your own and use as little or as much as you want)
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce (or make fresh if you prefer). We use Mids brand and it's really, really good.
- fresh basil (or dried but fresh tastes better)

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Lay the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle them with sea salt. Let them sit for 30 minutes or until you see moisture beading on the top.
3. Rinse the slices and pat them dry.
4. Coat your baking sheet in olive oil.
5. Dip the slices in egg, then the bread crumbs. Place them in a single layer on the baking sheet and cook for 7 minutes per side.
6. Turn the oven down to 325 degrees.
7. In a 9"x13" baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce and then sprinkle with Mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with the remaining slices, ending with the cheese. If you're using dried basil, sprinkle that on now. If you're using fresh, add it after it's been cooked.
8. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

This was SO good. It was the first time I've ever cooked or eaten eggplant and I was delighted with the results. Not only did it taste amazing but it was really easy to make. Plus, seeing as it's baked and not fried, I'm guessing it's fairly healthy. Well, I guess that depends on how much cheese you use but I think it would still be delicious even if you went easy on the cheese. Good luck and happy cooking!

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