I've mentioned before that I love Whole Foods. Still true.
My last visit to this wonderful market made me feel like I hit a food jackpot. Check out these glorious finds: graffiti eggplant (who knew?), incredible heirloom tomatoes, and kabocha squash (not pictured here, also beautiful).
I feel like a kid in a candy store every time I go, and that might make me a huge food nerd, but I'm cool with that. So here comes the result of my foodie adventures: a healthier version of eggplant parmesan. Instead of a heavy breading and frying, I opted for an egg wash, whole wheat bread crumbs, and baking. I'm not historically a huge lover of eggplants and I'm usually pretty neutral with my liking for them, but I couldn't resist this beautiful painted-looking one and had to try it. The result was darn good, if I do say so myself.
Eggplant parmesan with goat cheese (or not)
Adapted from EatingWell
1 large eggplant
1 egg white
1 Tbsp water
2 slices whole wheat bread
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp pepper
5 fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup goat cheese (or fresh mozzarella)
Slice your eggplant into 1/4 inch slices and sprinkle each side of each piece with salt. This helps to draw out some of the bitterness. Let the slices sit for about 15 minutes. You will see juices coming out of them, and they will look moist.
Preheat oven to 400. Place the bread on a baking sheet and bake for 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly toasted. Tear up the toasted bread and put in a food processor and chop to make fine breadcrumbs.
Whisk the egg white and water together until frothy and put in a shallow disk.
Combine the bread crumbs, half of the Parmesan, and the pepper in another shallow dish.
RINSE the eggplant to remove most of the salt, and dip the eggplant slices in the egg mixture, moistening both sides, then coat them in breadcrumbs and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown, then flip and repeat.
Meanwhile, get a baking dish ready for your final dish. Spoon a third of your tomato sauce in the bottom, and top with torn basil leaves. When your eggplant slices are baked, arrange half of the slices in a single layer on top of the pasta sauce. Top with more tomato sauce and half of the goat (or mozzarella) cheese. On top of that, add a second layer of eggplant and cover with the remaining sauce, Parmesan, and goat cheese.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the tomato sauce is bubbling.
Labels: goat cheese, Italian, main dish, summer, vegetable, vegetarian