Thursday, April 2, 2009
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
I LOVE eggplant parmesan, but the traditional method involves browning the eggplant in oil, so it's very fattening and time consuming. In this recipe I created, the eggplant is breaded in whole wheat bread crumbs and baked on a cooling rack to make it extra crunchy. You can use the same recipe for chicken to make chicken parmesan. I've also used it for sliced zucchini. They are like little zucchini chips that you can dip in marinara sauce or ketchup. Even my one-year-old baby, Eli, LOVES these!
3 slices of whole wheat bread (the end pieces work great!)
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 handful of fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp kosher salt, divided
freshly ground pepper
1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 egg white, beaten with 1/4 cup fat free milk
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Additional kosher salt and pepper
Cooked whole wheat spaghetti
1 jar marinara sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the bread into a food processor. Pulse until small crumbs form. Pour crumbs onto a baking sheet. Drizzle one tbsp of olive oil over the bread crumbs. Toss to coat. Spread into an even layer. Bake for about 6-8 minutes, until bread crumbs are nicely toasted. They will smell fragrant. Watch them closely-they burn easily!! Pour toasted crumbs into a bowl. Turn the heat up to 450 degrees. Add the Parmesan, chopped parsley, 1/4 tsp kosher salt and sprinkle with fresh black pepper. Toss together. Combine the flour, 1/4 tsp kosher salt and a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper. Place a cooling rack (used to cool off cookies after they bake) inside a baking sheet. Spray it with cooking spray. Season the eggplant pieces with the additional salt and pepper. Place in the flour, tossing them around to coat. Shake off excess flour. Place in the egg and milk mixture, then directly into the bread crumb mixture. Press the crumbs onto the eggplant pieces, making sure they stick well. Place eggplant on the cooling rack, inside the baking sheet. Bake at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes, until they are nice and crispy and tender when poked with a fork. Sprinkle mozzarella over the cooked eggplant. Return to the oven for 1-2 minutes, until cheese melts and is lightly browned. Serve with whole wheat spaghetti and bottled marinara sauce.