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Quick & Easy Eggplant Parmesan
Golden Brown & Crisp
Also by this Author...
Full of Flavor
Short on Time?
My friends on Facebook and Twitter have been posting photos of the bounty of their gardens. Now is the perfect time to whip up some tasty vegetarian dishes. I love flavor and texture and often try to make healthier versions of my favorite dishes by cutting salt, fat, sugar, etc. The following recipe was an experiment that worked great.
Most traditional Eggplant Parmesan recipes require dipping each individual slice of eggplant in beaten egg, coating it in breadcrumbs, and then frying it. My recipe is SO much easier. I also cheat by making the sauce "semi-homemade" (I mix in some store bought spaghetti sauce).
NOTE: You will need to prep the eggplant before cooking it. Although many people feel this step is not needed, I disagree. Salt draws out the juices, which can make an eggplant taste bitter. Salt also tightens and firms up the flesh, giving it a wonderful texture when cooked.
All you need to do is place the eggplant slices into a bowl and sprinkle with plenty of salt. I like to peel my eggplant, but that's up to you. The peel is edible. Let sit for about an hour and then rinse thoroughly with cold water.
QUICK & EASY EGGPLANT PARMESAN
1 Large Eggplant, cut into 1/4" slices (prepped as above)
3 cloves of garlic- chopped
1 small onion
2 cups of your favorite tomato / spaghetti sauce
1 large tomato- chopped
Cheese- sliced or shredded. Mozzarella is traditional, but I have used Pepper Jack and it was delicious! Also, the amount used depends on your personal taste.
Seasoned Breadcrumbs (you will need about 3/4 cups)
Parmesan cheese (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped green olives (optional)
Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Basil, Rosemary- to taste
Splash of white or red wine
In a large skillet, saute garlic in some olive oil. Add onion and cook until soft. Add fresh chopped tomatoes and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Add tomato sauce, olives (optional), splash of wine (roughly 1/4 c) and spices and cook for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat.
In a 13 x 9 greased baking pan, spoon some sauce and add 2 T water.
A single layer of raw eggplant slices
Spoon some sauce over the eggplant
Sprinkle Parmesan Cheese
Layer Cheese of choice
Sprinkle liberally with breadcrumbs
Drizzle olive oil on the top layer, cover with foil, and bake in 400 f for about 45 minutes or until eggplant is tender. Remove foil and cook an additional 5-10 minutes to make the breadcrumbs on top golden brown (see photo). Remove from the oven and allow to sit for about 15 minutes before serving. Drizzle extra olive oil on top, if desired.
This version of Eggplant Parmesan is tasty and much lighter (less oily) than the traditional kind you will find in restaurants. As always, thank you for reading!
C. De Melo
Author & Artist