Eggplant Parmigiana, made the traditional way by deep-frying the eggplant slices and slathering them with sauce and mozzarella and more cheeses, is one of my guilty pleasures. It’s so filling and makes my tummy “oh-so-happy”… but it’s so high in calories. The good news is I’ve found this version (baking with panko to make sure it’s nice and crispy) is a pretty close version of the real thing. I love to serve this recipe with a side of sauce and a spoon of pesto because then you get to enjoy its crispiness.
If you prefer a traditional eggplant Parmigiana, simply layer the baked slices in a 9 x 13-inch pan with lots of sauce and cheese and you’ll still have a lower fat version of the real thing. You know what else I like about this dish? If you’ve run out of bread and you’re having a big-time craving for a sandwich, use two of these eggplant rounds as your bread and fill them in with some epic Italian meats and cheeses. HOLY MOLY! I’m so clever, right? You can thank me later.
This blog post is a quick one this week as the cookbook is on it’s way to the printer (can I hear a woohoo?!?!?!?!). So, no long-winded story… just the cold, hard facts (or, in this case, the warm crispy facts!)…
Now, that you have supper sorted, you need to get on that dessert thing. You’ll be happy to know I’ve got dessert covered over here at my place. I just ate a whole box of thin mints. Oddly, I’m not feeling very thin.
Good-For-You Baked Eggplant Parm
- 1 eggplant sliced into 3/4-inch circles (about 10 slices)
- 3 cups dry bread crumbs such as panko
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- Olive oil for baking and drizzling
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 3-4 cups grated mozzerella optional
- 2 cups tomato sauce store-bought or homemade
- ½ cup basil pesto
- Position a cooling rack onto a baking sheet and then lay eggplant slices on top; sprinkle with salt and let stand for about 30 minutes (alternately, place salted slices in a colander and place in a sink, where they will drain).
- Meanwhile, in two shallow bowls, place bread crumbs in one and eggs in the other.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat baking sheet with oil.
- Pat dry eggplant with paper towel and sprinkle both sides with flour.
- Starting with one slice, dip completely into eggs, then press into bread crumbs to coat well. Place on prepared sheet and repeat with the remaining slices, nestling all the slices in a single layer on the sheet.
- Drizzle with some oil or coat with cooking spray and bake for about 10 minutes. Flip slices over and sprinkle with Parmigiano. Bake for 8 to 10 more minutes (if you're using mozzarella, divide it among the eggplant slices and bake for another 5-8 minutes or until the cheese is melted!)
- Serve warm with a dollop of warm tomato sauce and a spoonful of pesto.