This is one of my all time favorite recipes. It is a hit with the husband and the kids (bonus!). I’ve even made it when we’ve had company. It takes a little bit more prep than a quick 30 minute meal, but it is easy and can be assembled, stuck in the fridge, and cooked at a later time!
Lighter Eggplant Parmigiana
Source: Martha Stewart (Read more at Marthastewart.com: Lighter Eggplant Parmesan – Martha Stewart Recipes)
Prep: 20 Minutes
Total: 40 Minutes
1 large eggplant (2 pounds), sliced 1/2 inch thick crosswise (I usually just pick out the largest one I can find – if none of them are very big I’ll get two little ones)
1 tablespoon olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 cup fat-free (skim) milk (we use soy milk!)
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup homemade or best-quality store-bought marinara sauce (we use the Trader Joes Marinara)
1/2 cup grated part-skim mozzarella
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1) Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Arrange eggplant on two rimmed baking sheets (I was able to get all of mine on my shallow grill pan seen in the first picture). Brush eggplant on both sides with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and very tender, 20 to 25 minutes, turning slices and rotating sheets halfway through.
I just want to add that if you cut the eggplant too thin, it will be very difficult to get them off of the pan, even if it is a no-stick pan. Make sure you cut them at least a 1/2 inch thick!
2) Meanwhile, make sauce: Off heat, in a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/4 cup milk, flour, and garlic. Gradually whisk in remaining 3/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup marinara sauce. Put heat on high, bring to a boil (make sure to stir at one point!); reduce to a simmer, and cook until pink sauce has thickened, 2 to 3 minutes (I stir occasionally).
3) Spread 1 cup marinara sauce (not the pink sauce that you just made) in the bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Alternate layers of baked eggplant with pink sauce. Dollop with remaining cup marinara sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake on upper rack until browned and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes.
Another note: I have assembled this in the morning (or during the girls nap) to save time in the evening and just kept it covered in the fridge. If you do this, make sure that you take it out of the fridge and let it sit at room temp while the oven is heating back up to 450. Even leave it out a little longer. I have found that I have to increase my baking time by 3 – 6 minutes when I put it from the fridge into the oven. Also, if you do cover it and put it in the fridge, remember to uncover it before it goes into the oven! This dish doesn’t need to be covered while it is cooking.
I hope that if you try it out, that you enjoy it! Like I said, it is one of our favorites. We enjoy eating ours with Rosemary Olive Oil and Garlic Chiabatta from Trader Joes, and a fresh salad. Let me know if you try it, and if you do – what you think!