Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

Comfort food, YUM! Can’t wait for leftovers, but the exciting thing about this dish – I felt like there were surprisingly few prep dishes to clean up.

Meatless Monday Menu – Eggplant Parmesan
Local Produce – Eggplant, Basil

Eggplant Parmesan
Based on http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=2011044

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 T water
2 cups panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
¼ cup parmesan cheese
2 pounds eggplant, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick
Cooking spray

½ cup fresh basil, roughly sliced
¼ cup parmesan cheese
½ t crushed red pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ t salt
16 oz. Ricotta cheese (original suggests and I used part-skim)
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Other ingredients:
24 oz Crushed Tomatoes (My favorite – Furmano’s) or premium pasta sauce
2 T olive oil (not needed if using pasta sauce)
Salt and pepper to taste (not needed if using pasta sauce)
8 oz. thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
¾ cup provolone cheese
Additional torn basil leaves
Crushed red pepper, for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In one dish combine eggs and water. In a second dish combine panko and ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture and place slices on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes.

Combine filling ingredients.

If using crushed tomatoes – combine tomatoes olive oil, salt and pepper.

In a 13x9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray, spoon ½ cup pasta sauce and spread around. Layer ½ eggplant slices, sprinkle with salt, and top with another ¾ cup of sauce. Spread ½ of the filling mixture and top with 1/3 of mozzarella and ¼ Provolone. Repeat this layering with the other half of the eggplant. End with 1 cup of sauce and top with 1/3 of mozzarella and ¼ cup of Provolone. Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove foil top with remaining 1/3 of mozzarella and ¼ cup of Provolone. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle additional torn basil and crushed red pepper on top.

NOTE: original recipe calls for whole wheat panko. I would love to try this, I just had regular on hand. They found that the regular panko got soggy and that is why they preferred the whole wheat. I did not find this to be true.

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