Thursday, May 9, 2013

Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Good morning bloggers! A few days ago, I reached out to my friends through social media. I wanted to see what people enjoyed, food wise. There was a request for new ways to cook eggplant Parmesan. So, of course, I went and tracked down this little diddy of a recipe.

I know, I know... you're probably thinking, "It's just eggplant Parmesan... Calm down." The difference between this beauty and normal eggplant parm is that this one is roasted. Roasted, I say! That's one of the biggest problems I have with this dish normally... the calories. Now, I can worry less, and eat more. There's also the difference of not having to fiddle with messy batter. That's always a plus!

So, let's grab our kitchen supplies and whip us up an amazing meal!

Baked Eggplant Parmesan
Yields 6 servings

You will need:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 pounds eggplant (about 4 Japanese eggplants)
  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 5 teaspoons minced garlic, reserve 2 for topping
  • 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 16 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup + 1/4 cup grated parmigiano
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Ready? Let's go!

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment and brush the parchment with olive oil.
  3. Cut the eggplant into 1/4-inch slices and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. 
  4. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. 
  5. Flip the slices over and repeat, so now both sides of the eggplant are oiled and salted. 
  6. Roast until golden brown, about 30-40 minutes, flipping the eggplant halfway through. 
  7. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool while you prepare the remainder of the ingredients. 
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees.
  9. In a saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with 3 teaspoons of the garlic over medium heat. 
  10. Let cook until the garlic is fragrant and starting to toast. 
  11. Add the tomatoes to the pan and bring the sauce to a simmer. 
  12. Add the sugar, then simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes. 
  13. Turn off the heat, then add the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper, and cover to keep warm.
  14. In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, 1 cup of parmigiano, and a pinch of salt and pepper.
  15. To Asslemble: spread 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish, followed by half of the roasted eggplant, 1/2 cup more tomato sauce, half of the ricotta mixture and half of the mozzarella. 
  16. Repeat: eggplant, sauce, ricotta, mozzarella.
  17. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 25 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling.
  18. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, remaining 2 teaspoons garlic, 1/4 cup parmigiano and panko. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  19. Once the filling is bubbling, take the casserole out of the oven, remove the foil and sprinkle the panko mixture evenly over the top. Continue baking, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown and crisp, about 20 to 25 more minutes. 
  20. If the topping is not browning, drizzle a little olive oil over the top and place under the broiler (keep an eye on it, it"ll brown quickly under there). 
  21. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.
  22. Enjoy!

Thanks for joining me today. Stay tuned throughout the week for a new segment starting on Saturday. It's going to be breakfast themed! How exciting! So, go, carpe diem, and happy blogging to you all! I'll catch you on the flip side.