Eggplant cooked in parmesan cheese is one of the best Italian comfort foods. But the fact that the eggplants are usually fried makes the recipe quite unhealthy and loaded with calories. A serving of the traditional parmesan eggplant can contain about 1000 calories, but when we are looking to shed some weight or adopt a healthy lifestyle, then these types of comfort foods may not seem like a good idea. To solve the caloric problem here, we have chosen to bake our eggplants instead of frying them. As usual coat the pieces in egg and then dip them in a mixture of breadcrumbs before putting them in the oven. The best part about baking is that you can add extra parmesan to the breadcrumbs and get a crunchy and cheesy texture when you pull the tray out of the oven.
When I prepared this dish for the first time, the result was wonderful and it was not surprising to see how the fast it disappeared when it was served. It is not mushy or oily and is perfect for everyone in the family. You can serve it for lunch or dinner or enjoy it anytime of the day.
The idea is to build the flavour from the first step. Instead of just using breadcrumbs to coat our eggplant pieces, we have added cheese and a range of herbs to enhance the flavour of the dish when it is baked in the oven for the first time. Once you take it out of the oven, you must assemble it so that it starts with a layer of sauce and ends with a layer of sauce so all the goodness of the herbs and cheese are retained within the layers. Finally top off with extra cheese and bake until the cheese bubbles. The outcome? A wonderfully delicious cheesy meal that you will want to have again and again.
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 eggplants, peeled and cit into 1cm rounds
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 72 ounces tomato sauce
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to about 375 degrees
- Take a shallow bowl and whisk 2 tablespoons water and egg together
- Take another shallow bowl and mix parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, basil and oregano.
- Dip the eggplant pieces one by one into the egg coating and allow the excess egg to drip off. Now coat the eggplant pieces with the breadcrumb mixture and ensure all the sides are coated evenly. Place the pieces on a baking sheet.
- In the preheated oven, bake the eggplants for at least 20 minutes or until they have turned golden brown in color. Now turn the eggplants and bake on the other side for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the tray from the oven.
- Take one pan, 9 x 13 in size and cover the bottom with about 2 cups of tomato sauce.
- Arrange the baked eggplant pieces on the pan and add ½ cup mozzarella cheese on top. Add sauce on top and repeat layering until no more eggplants or sauce is left. Ensure that you end with sauce on top. When done, sprinkle some more mozzarella and parmesan.
- Place the pan back into the oven and cook for another 20 minutes. Allow it to cool down a little before serving.