Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Eggplant Parmesan

Last night, Jon had dinner "with the Japanese" so I was on my own. I told him I wanted to make Pear and Bleu Cheese Pizza, but he asked if I wouldn't make eggplant or squid instead (two foods he loathes). I got home and my mom had bought me an eggplant, so I put it to use.

1 large eggplant
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 cup panko bread crumbs
2 eggs, whisked with 1/4 cup water

Jar of pasta sauce, vegetarian
Can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon garlic
1 tsp. sugar
Mushrooms (optional)

1 4 oz. ball of Fresh Mozzarella
8oz. shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray or lightly oil.
Slice eggplant into rounds about 1/4 inch thick and sprinkle with salt. Dredge in egg then a mix of the two bread crumbs.
Layer the eggplant in the baking dish.
(Some people fry the eggplant rounds at this point, but I don't b/c it is an added step and added fat. You can if you wish.
Simply fry each eggplant round in a bit of canola oil until lightly brown and crispy on both sides. If you do fry, reduce below oven temp to 375.)
Put it in a prheated 425 degree oven for 20-25 mins or until the bread crumbs are starting to brown.
Meanwhile, mix all of the sauce ingredients together and simmer until heated through, stirring often.
Pour over the top of the eggplant slices and cover with foil. Bake an additional 20-25 mins at 375.
In the last 10 mins remove the foil, top the whole casserole with slices of Fresh Mozzarella, shredded mozzarella, and sprinkle the parmemsan on top -- and put back in the oven for melting and browning. I usually turn on the broiler for a couple minutes to speed up the cheese melting and get a little browning on top.

Let set for 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

Garnish with fresh torn basil, if desired.

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