Eggplant Parmesan

For someone who loves eating vegetarian food, I sure am not a fan of eggplant. I think it stems from when I was 19 and threw a dinner party for which I made ratatouille. I'd never made or eaten ratatouille before, but I was under the impression that eggplant was good. Any time I think about that particular eggplant, I shudder--blargh! Aside from Thai eggplants (which I am fine with), I just tend to avoid eggplant in general.

Now, I pride myself on how un-picky I am where food is concerned. The list of what I won't eat includes insects, octopus (they're so smart and awesome!), cuttlefish (ditto), oysters (tried 'em, hate 'em), brain, tongue, and other internal organs (eeeeeeeeeeew). The foods I'll eat, but I dislike, broadens slightly to include beets, eggplant, clams, and excessive amounts of mayo.

I also pride myself on trying to like things that I dislike and prefer not to eat. Being that Greg loves eggplant and brought it up recently, I thought I'd give it a shot. So, we made some Eggplant Parmesan.

Eggplant Parmesan (from Cooking Light)
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 (8-ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 (28-ounce) can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Fresh oregano sprigs (optional)

1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.

2. Place eggplant in a large bowl; add water to cover, and let stand 30 minutes. Drain well; blot dry with paper towels. Combine 1/4 cup water and egg whites in a shallow bowl. Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese; stir well. Dip eggplant in egg white mixture, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture. (**NOTE: I forgot to coat the eggplant in parmesan with the breadcrumbs, so I just sprinkled it on when doing the layering in step 4. It worked awesomely, and I recommend the method)

3. Place half of eggplant on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray, and broil 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant. Set eggplant aside.

4. Spread half of tomato mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of eggplant over sauce; top with half of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with remaining sauce, eggplant, and cheese.

5. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh oregano sprigs, if desired.

Serves: 8
Calories: 298, 38.8g Carbs, 19.2g Protein, 8.5g Fat

Verdict: Okay, so, I guess eggplant isn't bad when it's smothered in cheese. :) This was pretty damn delicious. Coupled with making my fiance happy, this recipe is a keeper.


Sharon said...

looks great! i'm not a huge fan of eggplant either, but like you I'm not too picky. I'll eat anything once. :)

R. said...

Hey there! Thanks for the hilarious comments on our blog ;) This looks like a GREAT way to get any veggie down LOL - CHEEEEESE! Nice blog, can't wait to check the rest of it out!
~Rose at The Bite Me Kitchen

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