The last in my No-Meat Friday series, I give you my best recipe yet – baked eggplant parmesan!
This takes a while to cook, about 45 minutes, so plan for it, but other than that, this recipe is really easy and tastes like it’s from a restaurant.
about 2 cups of pasta sauce (doesn’t have to be precise), from a can or homemade
1 log fresh mozzarella (not the balls)
1.5 cups bread crumbs
salt (for the eggplant)
1 tablespoon parmesan cheese
parsley, basil, oregano, to taste, I used about 1 teaspoon of each
The day you know you’re going to be making this, cut the mozzarella into slices, wrap them in a dish towel, put them in some tupperware, and put them back in the fridge. A couple hours before preparing this meal, take the cheese out and let it sit out on your counter.
This is all to reduce the amount of liquid in the mozzarella. If you skip this step, your dish will be waaaaay too watery.
When you’re ready to start cooking, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the eggplant into round slices, about 1/4 inch thick each. Lay them flat on a cutting board and sprinkle a good amount of salt on each slice. Let the slices sit for 10-15 minutes. Take a paper towel and push down on each slice, removing excess water and as much of the salt as you can get.
Next, mix the two eggs in a small bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, and oregano. Dip an eggplant slice in the egg mixture, then dredge it in the bread crumb bowl. Try to make sure each slice is covered.
Put the slices on a foil-lines and cooking sprayed baking sheet.
Cook the eggplant for 15 minutes, turn the slices over, then cook for another 15 minutes. Note that you can fry the eggplant slices, but the frying and the oil drives up the calories. Baking the slices cuts calories, but still gives you the breaded taste. It’s up to you.
In the mean time, spread the pasta sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. When the eggplant are ready, make the stacks. Put a piece of eggplant on the bottom, then layer a slice of mozzarella on top, followed by some sauce.
I made 4 stacks of 4. You can add extra seasonings on top if you want.
Put the baking pan in the oven with the lid on for about 5 minutes. Take the lid off and continue cooking another 10 minutes or so, until the cheese is melty and the sauce is warm.
I found this dish to be very filling. In fact, I was only able to finish half of a stack for dinner, meaning I only ate 2 of the eggplant slices. Dan did manage to eat a whole stack. This recipe gave us a dinner and a lunch a piece in leftovers.
And so ends my No-Meat Fridays series. I hope you enjoyed it!