Last week while visiting my parents house for the day my dad and I made a visit to my uncles garden. He was on vacation with his family and told us to ” help ourselves” to some of his goodies. I walked away with cucumbers, collard greens, jalapeno peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants. While thinking up ways of putting my collection of produce to use I realized it had been a while since I made eggplant parmesan. It may be 90 degrees here in Charlotte right now but that didn’t stop me from wanting this cheesy, baked comfort dish. It was well justified since I was eating a fruit (thank you Google for not letting me reference eggplant as a vegetable) that is deemed in season. I pulled this recipe out of the archives so I could take new photos seeing as how the old ones were in need of an update.
This meal takes some time to prepare so I can’t say it’s a quick and easy weeknight dinner but if you have time you can prepare it in advance (like naptime) then pop it in the oven when your ready. Eggplant Parmesan is typically Jason’s go to dish whenever we go out for Italian so I like to surprise him every now and then by making it at home. It’s always a hit and it’s great reheated for lunch or dinner the next day.
This classic Italian dish is usually breaded then fried before baking but here I chose to roast the eggplant instead to make it lighter. The eggplant is soaked in egg whites before they are dipped into whole wheat bread crumbs and I substituted reduced fat cheese for regular.
- 2 Eggplants
- 2 egg whites
- 1½ Cups of whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 1 jar of pasta sauce (I used Traditional Ragu)
- 2 cups of Low fat mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- 1 tsp. basil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Begin by thinly slicing the eggplant. Sprinkle with salt and allow it to sit for 30 minutes to get rid of any extra moisture. Pat with a paper towel before dipping them in the egg whites.
- Prepare 2 bowls: one with the egg whites and the other with the breadcrumbs. Dip each eggplant slice into the egg whites then in the breadcrumbs and place on a sprayed cookie sheet. Once each slice has been lightly breaded spray the tops with cooking spray and bake on 425 for 15-20 minutes.
- •In another bowl mix together mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, garlic salt, basil, salt and pepper.
- •Coat the bottom of a baking dish with pasta sauce then add a layer of eggplant on top. Add ⅓ of the cheese mixture and more pasta sauce. Repeat layers until all of the ingredients have been used up, ending with the remaining cheese mixture. Sprinkle additional basil on top.
- •Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- •Allow the Eggplant Parmesan to sit for 10 minutes before serving