Eggplant = Intimidating

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I don’t know about you, but I am always dawn to eggplant recipes.  When it comes time to actually cook I always pick another dish to try.  Eggplant scares the heck out of me and I am not sure why.  I think part of the intimidation has to do with the fact that you have to salt it and let it the water drain from it.  I feel like if you don’t do this correctly then the meal will turn out horribly!  While I am admitting my fear of eggplant I should go ahead and divulge that frozen spinach scares me as well and it’s has to do with the wringing out part….. I admit that I am strange…..getting the moisture out of vegetables is terrifying!  Anyways, here is another skinnytaste recipe and if it turns out anything like the enchiladas did then it should be amazing!

Lighter Eggplant Parmesan

  • 1 large eggplant (2 lbs)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 12 oz fat-free ricotta
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Pecorino Romano
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 cups reduced fat mozzarella
  • 3 cups homemade tomato sauce (recipe below)
  • salt

 

Preparation:

Start by making the sauce if you don’t have any already made. While the sauce simmers, slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices. Lightly salt the slices and put in a colander to release excess moisture for about 1/2 hour. Lay on paper towels to soak up any extra moisture

Preheat oven to 450°. Brush eggplant lightly with olive oil on both sides and place on cookie sheets. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning half way through until eggplant is golden brown.

In a medium bowl combine ricotta, egg, parsley and 1/4 cup of grated cheese.

In a 9×12 baking dish, put a little sauce on the bottom of the dish and put a layer of eggplant to cover the bottom of the dish. Top with 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture, mozzarella cheese and sauce. Add another layer of eggplant and repeat the ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and sauce until everything is used up. Top with sauce and the mozzarella cheese and the remaining grated cheese.

Cover with foil and bake until cheese is melted and everything is bubbling, about 30 minutes at 400°.  Remove foil and bake an additional 8-10 minutes. Take it out of the oven and let it sit about 10 minutes before cutting.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

  • 2 (28 oz) cans imported tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat-free chicken stock
  • fresh basil

 

Preparation:

Saute garlic in oil, add onions and carrots and saute on medium-low for about 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add tomatoes and chicken broth and simmer 45 minutes on low.

Add fresh basil last 10 minutes (herbs will become bitter if cooked more than 20 minutes). Julia always adds herbs into the sauce near the end.
Taste for acidity, if sauce is a bit tangy (acidic) then add 1 tbsp of sugar. For a calorie free way to cut the acidity in the sauce add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

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