So, now that I’ve gotten you jazzed about Italian food with my Tuscan Kale Salad and Quattro Pomodoro Sauce, it’s time to complete the trifecta. The food in Italy is divine. Good food is just in the air over here – you can’t walk down a street without seeing beautiful pizzas calling out from shop windows, or markets with overflowing baskets of fresh produce. We’ve had good kitchens in our apartments, so I’ve done quite a bit of cooking. This roasted eggplant parmigiana, or really “deconstructed eggplant parmesan,” if you want to get fancy, was one of the highlights.
No-Fuss Roasted Eggplant Parmigiana Ingredients (serves 4):
2 medium eggplants
2.5 cups Quattro Pomodoro Sauce, or other good red sauce
1 cup sliced buffalo mozzarella (get the best quality possible!)
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano (or other good quality parmesan)
torn basil leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
This recipe stands out in the eggplant parmesan world because it is so simple. There isn’t any breading, or pan frying, or delicate layering. This is rustic, traditional, and wildly delicious. It also happens to be gluten-free and lighter than many typical eggplant parmesans.
Begin by slicing your eggplants in half lengthwise, and then into half moons. Spread them on a baking sheet, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Check them a few times while they are roasting and mix them up so they cook equally on all sides. They should soften in the centers, crisp slightly on the edges, and become quite aromatic.
Pull the eggplants out of the oven when they are cooked through and mix in 1.5 cups of tomato sauce. Toss them right in their baking dish, and make sure all pieces are evenly coated. Arrange the eggplants into a flat-topped mound, add the remaining cup of tomato sauce, and spread it evenly across the top. Layer the slices of mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan.
Put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes at 425 degrees to melt the cheese. Take it out when the cheese has started to brown and bubble.
Finally, add your fresh torn basil to the top of the eggplant parmigiana, serve, and dig in! We ate ours with a side of tuscan kale salad and it was a great combination.
This dish definitely fits the bill for healthy comfort food. Yes, it does have cheese, but both cheeses impart lots of flavor and are low in saturated fat. Plus, this dish includes loads of lycopene from the slow-cooked tomato sauce and free radical scavenging antioxidants from the eggplant. Research on eggplants has found that they are high in the phytonutrient nasunin, which is known for eliminating free radicals and protecting cell membranes. Eggplants are also a beneficial food for those managing diabetes, or trying to lose weight, thanks to their high fiber levels and low soluble carbohydrate content.
So, bust out the eggplant and start making this parmigiana – I know you’ll be glad you did!
P.S. If you’d in the mood for eggplant, but this isn’t your cup of tea, here are a few of my other favorite eggplant recipes.