I am confident that the picture speaks for itself. You don’t need me to tell you that it looks, smells and tastes absolutely delicious. What you may need me to tell you is that you can enjoy this dish with a feeling of lightness from start to finish. All it took were a few conscious tweaks and this eggplant parmesan is a triple threat dish, for your mind, body, and soul. Enjoy!
You may not see them so clearly from the leading picture, but there are slices of eggplant in there. What I love about eggplant is that they absorb so much flavor. Relatively neutral in taste, all it takes is a dash of salt, a drizzle of olive oil and a slow bake to deem eggplant a prize of a bite. It has a smooth texture when cooked but can still hold its own on the grill or fried. It rises to the occasion. For this eggplant parmesan recipe, I slice eggplant, widthwise, and grill the slices. Then, I layer them between carmelized onions, marinara sauce and grated hard goat milk cheese. After they’re done baking in the oven, the aroma is so rich and comforting, I oft forget the plate and just dig into the baking dish while the eggplant parmesan is piping hot and I can scoop up parts of the cheese that have gone crisp on the edges of the baking dish.
So, basically I know what’s for dinner – again – tonight. How about you?
I don’t use bread crumbs, because I wanted to have cheese with this dish, and together – a starch and protein – they can be difficult to digest. I also opt for a goat cheese (a sheep cheese would work as well), because it is lower in the hard-to-digest casein and better for those who are lactose intolerant. And of course, no frying involved here!
Here’s some know on the glow:
Eggplant: lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol with its chlorogenic compound, is anti-carcinogenic due to its antioxidant nasunin content, is a great source of dietary fiber, protects against colon cancer, and is a great source of vitamin A, B vitamins, folate and vitamin C.
Healthy Eggplant Parmesan
Keywords: main vegetarian eggplant marinara cheese
For the Eggplants
- 2 large, wide eggplants
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Dash of sea salt
For the Marina Sauce
- ½ medium onion
- 1/4 red bell pepper
- 1 scallion
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 can (28-oz) crushed tomatoes
For the Assembly
1 large onion
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Dash of salt
6 ounces hard goat (or sheep) milk cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
For the Eggplants
Chop the eggplant width-wise into 1-1.5-inch thick slices, making about 8 equal-sized cuts. Brush lightly both sides of each slice with olive oil and season with salt. Grill on both sides until thoroughly cooked.
For the Marinara
Chop the onions,scallions, pepper and garlic and sauté them over medium heat in 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil until the onions have browned and softened. Add the spices and soy sauce. dd the crushed tomatoes and cook for about 15 minutes on low heat.
Meanwhile, to prepare the caramelized onions for assembly. Chop the large onion and add to a pan over medium high heat with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil a dash of salt. Cook until the onions sweetened and become soft and brown. In a baking dish, layer a bit of the tomato sauce on the bottom, just enough to make it wet, just so the eggplant doesn’t stick while cooking. Place up to four eggplant slices down, top each with caramelized onions and then a generous scoop of marinara sauce, then a handful of cheese. Place another slice of eggplant atop each cheese layer, and then another large spoonful of sauce and finished with cheese.
Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until all the flavors have come together and the dish is hot throughout with the cheese melted and slightly browned.
Serve with fresh basil garnish if available. Enjoy!
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