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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Healthy Eggplant Parmesan

So the move is over and we have been unpacking non-stop and one of my favorite people in the whole world came over and helped me unpack my entire kitchen - so thanks to her I am finally ready to cook a meal.  I am coming from a house with a tiny kitchen that lacked counter space and well, really just space in general.  It was less of a kitchen and more of two galleys that had a dining room next to it.  As much as I love cooking, that's how much I hated my kitchen.  I always had bowls and pans all over the dining room table.  (But it was a ginormous step up from our apartment in Medford - so who knew it would still be tight?)

That being said...I was even nervous about the space in our new home before we moved in...what if it still presented problems?  However, I love love love love love love love love love my new kitchen!  Words do not do it justice.  The best way I can put it...It gave me joy.  So now please let me share with you our first out of countless meals in our new, happy home.

Healthy Eggplant Parmesan
adapted from a recipe by Mario Batali

1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
tomato sauce (find the recipe here - and this is enough sauce to have plenty left over to serve with a pound of pasta)
1 cup of shredded cheese of choice (I used a mozzarella, asiago, provolone blend from Trader Joe's)
1 Tbsp romano cheese
ricotta cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, spread with the 2 Tbsp of olive oil and then lay out your eggplant slices in a single layer.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes until golden in color.  Then, flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes.  When done, remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Cover the bottom of a large baking dish with a thin layer of your tomato sauce.  Then place some eggplant slices in the dish.  Cover the slices with another thin layer of tomato sauce and then top with some of your shredded cheese and about a teaspoon of the romano.  Begin another layer of eggplant and continue this patter until you run out of ingredients.  I added a few dollops of ricotta to the top before placing in the oven uncovered for about 20 minutes until the cheese melted.

Serve hot with a side of pasta and extra cheese.

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