Eggplant Parm: A Sargent Choice Favorite

By Kelli Swensen, Dietetics Student, Sargent College

This Week’s CSA Box:

— 1 Melon
— 1 pint Cherry Tomatoes
— 5 Frying Peppers
— 2 Cucumbers
— 1 large Eggplant
— 2 lbs. Early Girl Tomatoes
— 8 ears Corn
— 1 lb. Beans

In case you missed it last year, or didn’t get a chance to try making it, here is one of our favorite ways to use farm-fresh eggplant:

Skip frying breaded eggplant in oil! For a fresh and light take on the classic Italian dish, try a recipe that is a favorite of our own Dietitian Jennifer Culbert. This Eggplant Parmesan is baked to crispy perfection and layered with tomato sauce and parmesan cheese. Trust us, you won’t miss the grease.

Eggplant Parmesan

*based on recipe from Cook’s Illustrated

Ingredients

Eggplant

  • 2 pounds globe eggplant, cut crosswise into ¼ inch-thick rounds
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 8 slices whole-wheat bread, torn into quarters
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil

Tomato Sauce

  • 3 cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
  • 1/3 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves chopped
  • 8 ounces part-skim mozzarella, shredded
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 10 fresh basil leaves torn, for garnish

Instructions

For the Eggplant:

  1. Toss half of eggplant slices and 1 ½ tsps kosher salt in large bowl until combined; transfer salted eggplant to large colander set over bowl. Repeat with remaining eggplant and kosher salt, placing second batch in colander on top of first. Let stand until eggplant releases about 2 tablespoons liquid, 30 to 45 minutes. Arrange eggplant slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible, then wipe off excess salt.
  2. While eggplant is draining, adjust oven racks to upper and lower-middle positions, place rimmed baking sheet on each rack, and heat oven to 425 degrees. Pulse bread in food processor to fine, even crumbs. Transfer crumbs to pie plate and stir in 1 cup Parmesan, ¼ tsp salt, and ½ tsp pepper; set aside. Wipe out bowl and set aside.
  3. Combine flour and 1 tsp pepper in large-zipper-locked bag; shake to combine. Beat eggs in second pie plate. Place 8 to 10 eggplant slices in bag with flour; seal bag and shake to coat eggplant. Remove eggplant slices, shaking off excess flour, dip in eggs, let excess egg run off, then coat evenly with bread crumb mixture; set bread slices on wire rack set over baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
  4. Remove preheated baking sheets from oven; add 3 tablespoons oil to each sheet, tilting to coat evenly with oil. Place half of breaded eggplant on each sheet in single layer; bake until eggplant is well-browned and crisp, about 30 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets after 10 minutes, and flipping eggplant slices with wide spatula after 20 minutes. Do not turn off oven.

For the Sauce:

While eggplant bakes, process 2 cans diced tomatoes in food processor until almost smooth, about 5 seconds. Heat olive oil. Garlic, and red pepper flakes in large-heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and garlic is light golden, about 3 minutes; stir in processed and remaining can of diced tomatoes. Bring sauce to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened and reduced, about 15 minutes (you should have about 4 cups). Stir in basil and season to taste with salt and pepper

To Assemble:

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in bottom of 13 by 9 inch baking dish. Layer in half of eggplant slices, overlapping slices to fit; distribute 1 cup sauce over eggplant; sprinkle with half of mozzarella. Layer in remaining eggplant and dot with 1 cup sauce, leaving majority of eggplant exposed so it will remain crisp; sprinkle with ½ cup parmesan and remaining mozzarella. Bake until bubbling and cheese is browned, 13 to 15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; scatter basil over top, and serve, passing remaining tomato sauce separately.

Makes 6 to 8 servings depending on size of eggplants

Calories: 459  Fat: 26 g Sat Fat: 8g Carb: 38.9g Fiber: 8 g Protein: 21.2 g


One Comment

nando@lip cancer posted on August 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm

eggplant is really good to prevent any diseases. many people said that fruits and vegetables with purple or blue color may avoid us from vary diseases, especially cancer. I’ll save this recipe for my menus, thanks for share it 🙂

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