Eggplant Parmesan is my husband's favorite meal -hands down. He could eat it for lunch and dinner a few times a week. I think he dreams in ooey gooey cheese! The recipe below is a slightly healthier twist on a typical eggplant parm in that it is not deep fried and is finished off in the oven. It's crunchy, saucy, cheesy and it melts his heart everytime!
1 large Eggplant or a few small Japanese Eggplant
1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup Whole Wheat Bread Crumbs (Italian Seasoned)
Fresh Mozzerella Cheese
Parmesan or Italian Blend Shredded Cheese
1 jar or 1 batch Your favorite Tomato Sauce
Fresh Basil for garnish
1/4 - 1/3 cup pesto
Oil for Shallow Frying
Seasonings: Salt, Pepper, Red Pepper
Cut eggplant into 1/2" to 3/4" thick slices (I like mine closer to 1/2")
Set up 3 breading stations:
1 with flour (season this with salt and pepper)
1 with an egg beaten with a few drops of water
1 with seasoned whole wheat breadcrumbs
Heat pan with enough olive oil to just coat the bottom - you don't need a lot.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Warm tomato sauce
Dip eggplant in flour - shake any excess off. Dip into egg wash and then dip into breadcrumbs making sure all sides are covered. Repeat.
Place dipped and covered eggplant into your pan and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side until the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Place eggplant into one layer on a baking sheet. Cover every other slice with fresh mozzerella (be sure to squeeze any excess liquid out of the cheese. Your eggplant will become soggy if you skip this step. Cover the remaining slices with a thin spread of your favorite pesto.
Warm in oven for 5-7 minutes until the cheese starts to melt.
Start with some tomato sauce on your plate. Alternate eggplant with cheese and eggplant with pesto. Layer tomato sauce in between. End with a piece of eggplant with melted cheese on top. Garnish with some chopped fresh basil and a sprinkling of shaved Parmesan or Italian Blend Cheese.
Serve piping hot!
Happy Cooking and Happy Styling!