Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My Eggplant No-Noodle Lasagna Parmesan

For Eggplant:
  • 1 medium-large eggplant (or 2-3 Japanese eggplants), sliced 1/8-1/4" thick (or as desired)
  • 2 eggs + 1 splash of milk (or for vegan, use all almond or soy milk mixed with some brown rice flour)
  • 1-1/4  cups Panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 c. Italian Season Breadcrumbs 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan (optional)
For Casserole:
  • 1 jar marinara sauce - I recommend a good chunky sauce with lots of mushrooms or veggies. *see NOTE
  • capers (optional)
  • 15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup grated part-skim mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese ( or parmesano-regiano blend)
  • salt & pepper to taste.
Directions
  1. Once eggplant is sliced, lightly sprinkle with sea-salt to draw out the excess water and eliminate any bitterness in the eggplant.  Let sit 1 hour, rinse, and pat dry.
  2. Preheat oven to 375, grease baking sheet with oil (or line with parchment paper). 
  3. Dip each slice of eggplant in egg wash, then in mixture of breadcrumbs & parm, and place on baking sheet.  Sprinkle lightly with salt, bake 10-15 minutes until golden.  Flip over, sprinkle with more slat, bake 7-10 more minutes until crispy golden brown.  Let cool.
  4. Lower oven to 350.
  5. Grease 8x10 casserole pan with olive oil.  Spread some of the marinara over the bottom, and layer 1/2 of the eggplant, then 1/2 ricotta, 1/2 mozzarella & 1/2 Parmesan. Spoon marinara over pieces of eggplant - don't drench or eggplant will get mushy, sprinkle w/ some capers, then repeat cheeses for 2nd layer (or use less, and make more layers if necessary).
  6. Bake 20 minutes covered, and then 10 minutes uncovered for 30-45 minutes total until bubbly and browning.  Broil top if desired (remember to keep watch!).  Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

*NOTE:  If you are using a regular sauce and want to add a little something to it, try this, and after lowering the temp in step 4, sautee shallot, garlic in olive oil.  Add mushrooms & thyme, season with salt and pepper, and when cooked, add marinarra and stir well. Add capers to taste. Then continue w/ step 5.
  • 1 tb olive oil
  • 8 oz baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tb thyme, chopped

Cited Recipes:
  • http://www.epicureanmom.com/2012/02/eggplant-parmesan.html
  • http://forbiddenriceblog.wordpress.com/2012/02/17/eggplant-parmesan-with-homemade-creamy-garlic-basil-marinara/
  • http://thesveltegourmet.blogspot.com/2010/04/recipe-makeover-2-baked-eggplant.html
  • http://www.zencancook.com/2010/09/eggplant-parmegiana/

Made this on:
  • 5/25/12 - Made for mom & Dennis - both really liked it!  Made a few corrections to the recipe above (be sure to really let the eggplant cool before layering w/ sauce - it will help keep the breading crunchier.  This came out really great, and my stepdad who asked "um, where is the meat?!" said later that he didn't even miss it and he was surprised it was filling even without it!  My mom thought she did not like eggplant at all, but surprise surprise!  I was very happy that my eggplant did not come out mushy - it was great!  Definitely a keeper.

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