Lighter Eggplant Parmigiana

My food blog friend Sally @Bewitching Kitchen inspired me to make this lighter version of classic eggplant parmigiana. The eggplant is breaded but oven-baked instead of fried. It was quite delicious. 🙂

I served the cheesy eggplant over pasta with sauce, per my husband’s request, but it really wasn’t necessary. We ate it with spicy and garlicky sautéed broccoli rabe and roasted asparagus on the side. I used my new favorite jarred sauce, Trader Joe’s Italian Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine, as a shortcut. This recipe was adapted from The Kitchen, contributed by Jeff Mauro, via Bewitching Kitchen.com. Great!

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 medium to large eggplant
  • 2 eggs, beaten with a teaspoon of water
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 24 ounces jarred tomato sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Marinara Sauce with Barolo Wine)
  • slices of fresh mozzarella cheese (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2 pound of prepared pasta, for serving, as desired (I used Capunti pasta)
  1. Heat a rimmed baking sheet – empty – in a very hot oven, 450 F to 500 F, preferably on convection.
  2. While the baking sheet is heating, peel the eggplant, cut crosswise in 1/2 inch slices. Place on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
  3. Put the eggs, water, salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
  4. Mix the breadcrumbs and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese in another bowl next to it.
  5. Dip each eggplant slice into the egg wash, but allow just one side to get wet with the mixture.
  6. Next, dip it in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing to coat, and carefully place on a rack with the crumb side up.
  7. Make sure you have the tomato sauce warmed up and ready to go, and the cheese slices also nearby.
  8. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and drizzle the olive oil to coat the hot surface.
  9. Working quickly, add the eggplant slices with the crumb-coated side down. It will stick to the oil and start to get pretty hot right away.
  10. Add the tomato sauce on top, cover with cheese, and place in the oven, reducing the temperature to 375 F, preferably on convection.
  11. Cook for 20 to 25+ minutes. When the cheese is starting to get golden brown at the edges, the eggplant will be done. (Additional sauce can be added on top of the cheese halfway through the cooking process, if desired.)
  12. Serve immediately with your favorite side dish.

Two Years Ago: Oaxacan Pork Picadillo Tacos

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2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog. What fun!! 🙂

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 66,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Ironically, the best day of 2014 for thebrookcook was December 31st- too late to make the WordPress report. I reached my all-time record views of 1,245!!!! Wow! What a great way to end 2014- as well as a fabulous surprise this morning! 🙂

I have made many friends in the food blog world but would really like to especially thank Sonal, Patty, Nancy, Sue, and Angie for their thoughtful comments over the past year. Happy New Year to all of you!

A link to the full report is below- it includes links to my top 5 recipes of the year:

  • Spicy & Garlicky Fresh Tomato Sauce over Pappardelle
  • Ottolenghi’s Chicken with Caramelized Onions & Cinnamon-Cardamom Rice
  • Flourless Chocolate Cookies
  • Creamy Mushroom Pappardelle
  • Mustard Chicken with Shallots

Thank you so much for your support and Best Wishes for a Fabulous 2015!!

Click here to see the complete report.

If I Knew You were Coming I’d Have Baked a Cake

I love to cook and above all love trying new recipes. In general, I am a very organized person, but somehow my recipe collection has become unmanageable! This blog (my first adventure on the blogosphere) will not only be a way to share successful recipes with family and friends, but also a way to organize recipes for myself.

I enjoy planning my menu around the freshest seasonal produce available, so I joined a CSA program through the Golden Earthworm Organic Farm in Jamesport, New York. Every week, this farm gives us boxes of fruit and vegetables that were in the earth the morning they were delivered. This has changed how my family eats. Planning delicious meals around the ingredients I receive in the box each week is fun, healthy, and, most importantly, gives me some direction.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy the seasonal recipes as much as I did making them.

–  Josette “TheBrookCook” 🙂

“If I knew you were coming I’d have baked a cake….”

 

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