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Not quite Eggplant Parmesan recipe

Updated on June 17, 2015
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Oh dear, we have no parmesan! But I want to make Eggplant Parmesan

I so wanted to make Eggplant Parmesan but there was one major problem. I didn't have any Parmesan cheese! Another concern was that I've always thought that the real thing (the way I make it, anyway) has a few too many calories than I like to serve and eat.

So this dish was a fake. But we enjoyed it so much that now it's regularly on our menu. These days, I do add a little Parmesan, but only a touch.

Many of the meals we have are a bit like those TV cooking shows where chefs are presented with some ingredients and have to concoct a delicious recipe using them. This recipe was the result of gazing into the fridge, examining the contents of the pantry and thinking 'OK, now what?'

It's healthier than the standard recipe because the eggplants aren't fried and it's also quicker and easier to make.


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Slice and broil the eggplant

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Pre-heat the broiler and slice the eggplant. Broil the eggplant on both sides for about five minutes. They should be slightly browned.

TO SALT OT NOT TO SALT?

Some people suggest that you sprinkle the eggplant slices with salt and leave for a while to drain out some of the water. Sometimes I do, but if I'm in a hurry, I don't. For this dish, I've not noticed a difference although it does help in recipes where the eggplant is going to be fried. If you do, rinse the slices thoroughly afterwards and pat dry with paper towel.

Make a quick and easy tomato sauce

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Heat a little olive oil in a pan and add sliced scallions and crushed garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add the contents of a can of tomatoes, freshly-ground black pepper and chopped basil leaves. Simmer gently for four or five minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 350°. Pour the tomato sauce into a baking dish. The one I use is about 6 x 10 inches. (If you really want to save time you could use the tin of tomatoes as-is - but I like to add the extra flavor!)

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The tomato sauce in the oven dish. There's no need to grease the dish, just pour the tomato sauce straight in.

Add the broiled eggplant

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Layer the sliced, broiled eggplant on top of the tomato sauce. Press down slightly with a spatula, so that some of the tomato sauce comes through.

Add mozzarella

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Sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the eggplant slices and put into the oven. Bake for about ten minutes or until you have made the topping.

Make the topping

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Use a cheese grater to make breadcrumbs from the slice of bread. Add about a tablespoon Parmesan (if you have it!) Add black pepper, mix well. Remove the dish from the oven and add the topping. Put the dish back in the oven until the topping browns. (You might want to broil for the last few minutes to ensure a crunchy topping).

Garnish

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Add sliced black olives and chopped basil leaves to garnish.

Serve!

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Serve with baby salad leaves.

Further reading

I am vegetarian mainly because I never liked meat. Even as a child, it wasn't something I enjoyed. It's only looking back that I remember that I was also the slimmest member of our family. Was this coincidence? I don't think it was. It certainly wasn't because I was more active. (I hated sport!)

When I was older and went to college I was in control of my own meals and even if I'd liked meat, I wouldn't have been able to afford it. Gradually, I came to realize that not eating meat was healthier too. In more recent years, we've all discovered that eating no (or less) meat is also healthier for the planet. Whatever your own reasons are for eating no meat - or cutting down - there are some great recipe books that will give you lots of information and wonderful meal ideas.

Here's my selection.

Buy eggplant treats

Eggplant, or aubergine as we called it in England, is much more versatile that I first realized. Look below - vegetarian eggplant 'caviar' even! We've tried all the eggplant treats you see below. The caviar and the bottled grilled eggplant are both marvelous to serve as an appetizer - even meat eaters love both. We both love mango chutney, so we had to try the eggplant version and it's so tasty served either with curry or with cheese and crackers (our favorite lunch). The tomato and eggplant sauce makes the list because its imported from Italy and made by an old-established company, using traditional methods and the best ingredients. I like to keep a jar in stock at all times because it's so easy to make a super-fast, authentic pasta dish using this sauce.

This is incredibly tasty and highly recommended.

Photo credits

All photographs, with the exception of the eggplant image (from stock.xchng) taken by me during the preparation of this dish.

Thanks for reading - say hello!

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    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 3 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      Pecorino is wonderful! Thank you for your kind words about the photographs :)

    • profile image

      BarbaraCasey 3 years ago

      This looks so good. If I don't have a block of Parmesan to grate, I'll usually have Pecorino Romano on hand. I would imagine either one would work. Your photos work so well to showcase your recipes.

    • Merrci profile image

      Merry Citarella 3 years ago from Oregon's Southern Coast

      Looks good! We've always made the fried version. I like that this is healthier! Will give it a try.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Take photographs :) Remember that most of my recipes have a prep time of ten minutes or less ... that gives you plenty of time to have a glass of wine (or several) with hubby while the meal is cooking :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am going to make this...lord knows my poor starving hubby hasn't had a nice home cooked meal in ages!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @TransplantedSoul: Eggplants are so good - I'm always on the lookout for new ideas too.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 4 years ago

      This looks like such an amazing recipe! I'll have to try it. I have an eggplant recipe too for ratatouille that is quite nice.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @ChefWilliam: I hope you enjoy it - eggplant is so good!

    • profile image

      ChefWilliam 4 years ago

      We are always looking for new recipes for our eggplant, this will be tried very soon :) Thanks for sharing.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @AprilAlice: Thank you - we're having it tonight!

    • AprilAlice profile image

      AprilAlice 4 years ago

      yum. I'm going to save this recipe. Thanks.

    • Jillynn profile image

      Jillynn 4 years ago

      This sounds yummy. Love your pics!!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @julieannbrady: That sounds interesting. I love eggplant too and I'm always looking for new recipes and ideas. Thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      I love eggplant and I love parmesan. Stouffers makes a pretty good frozen eggplant parmigiana. And, lately I've been trying parmesan range dressing.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @miaponzo: I'm making it again tonight! Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 4 years ago

      Sounds like super yummy parmesan!!!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @anonymous: Thank you so much for visiting.

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @WriterJanis2: It is - even without parmesan :)Thanks for visiting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Cheers! Thanks for the recipe!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 4 years ago

      Oh this look so good!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @TACTCI LM: Thank you :)

    • TACTCI LM profile image

      TACTCI LM 4 years ago

      Check out those big images on eggplant parmesan! Way to present big and bold!

    • BritFlorida profile image
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      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Sky Breeze: I'll definitely give it a try - thank you so much!

    • Sky Breeze profile image

      May Matthew 4 years ago

      @BritFlorida: I learnt it from a restaurant in a resort in Sri Lanka. Just to be clear: eggplant cubes should be deep fried; pineapple, cucumber and onions (preferably very small ones) cubes/ slices should be raw. Enjoy! Thank you again!

    • BritFlorida profile image
      Author

      Jackie Jackson 4 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      @Sky Breeze: Wow, that sounds good - I must try it. Thank you!

    • Sky Breeze profile image

      May Matthew 4 years ago

      Fried eggplant cubes go very well with pineapple, cucumber and onion sliced or in cubes. A great lens you have there! Thank you.