Most recipes for Eggplant Parmesan bury this healthy vegetable under so many layers of cheese and rich tomato sauce that you might as well be eating a Personal Pan Pizza. Can you even find the eggplant in there? Do you even know what eggplant tastes like?
Give this recipe a try – you will actually taste (gasp!) the eggplant! A mixed-greens salad with kalamata olives and feta cheese pairs well with this dish to make a delicious light meal. For somewhat heartier fare, serve the Eggplant Parmesan over a cup of whole grain spaghetti, linguine, or fettuccine.
1/2 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the stuff in the green can is just fine)
Grated peel of 1 lemon, divided
1 teaspoon dried oregano, divided
1 teaspoon dried thyme, divided
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons water
1 lb. eggplant, peeled and evenly sliced into 18 pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
8 oz. tomato sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
In a shallow mixing bowl, mix the whole wheat breadcrumbs, Parmesan, remaining half of the lemon peel, ½ teaspoon of the oregano, and ½ teaspoon of the thyme. In another shallow mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites and the water together.
Dip each round slice of the eggplant into the egg whites and then the Parmesan-breadcrumb mixture. Place each slice on the baking sheet, making sure they do not touch each other (or the egg whites will make them stick together).
In a small liquid measuring cup, blend the olive oil and lemon juice and then lightly drizzle it over the eggplant rounds. Bake the eggplant for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown (more gold than brown is preferable) and crispy. Just about like this:
While the eggplant is baking, heat the tomato sauce and remaining lemon peel, ½ teaspoon of oregano, and ½ teaspoon of thyme in a small saucepan over medium high heat until it boils. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes in order for the flavors to blend.
Serve the baked eggplant parmesan topped with the tomato sauce.
Yield: 6 servings (3 rounds each)
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