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Healthy eggplant parmesan makeover

healthy eggplant parmesan

Healthy eggplant parmesan was requested by a vegetarian client. While my aubergine recipe has deep flavor notes and is delicious, it was high in fat.  Therefore, it was the opposite of what my client wanted. My original recipe, based on the classical method calls for a beautiful purple vegetable to be breaded and fried before layering with cheese and sauce.  My recipe for the rich marinara sauce also included ½ a bottle of chianti.

These classic methods create an almost perfect layered dish with delicious flavors. As a result, those methods the flavor was based in the richness the cheese and olive oil. Furthermore, the star of the show, the eggplant, was lost of this recipe. was determined to preserve the flavor for this healthier eggplant parmigiana recipe.

Make healthy eggplant parmesan which is beautiful looking and delicious!


Seems like preserving the yummy buttery flavor of the eggplant the most important change I could make to create a healthier and delicious dish.  The silky-smooth texture was key and I still wanted to have the gorgeous color visible.  I decided to roast the eggplant with a little kosher salt and olive oil to enhance the flavor. By caramelizing these beauties first, I could get really added flavor to the dish. It has more complex flavors than my traditionally prepared eggplant.

I also decided to prepare these individual serving dishes to make the presentation more appealing. I think it turned out beautifully, don’t you?

Here is the eggplant parmesan recipe makeover:

Healthy Eggplant Parmesan  Recipe

Category: Main, Italian
Yield: 8 servings
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oildivided
1 medium onionfinely chopped
2 tsp fresh oreganochopped
2 tsp fresh parsley chopped
1 tbl fresh basilchopped
1 bay leaf
2 garlic clovesminced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 cups Chianti 
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
12 small eggplants, Japanese (about 4 lb.), halved lengthwise
8 sprigs oregano
1/2 pound focaccia bread crumbs
12 oz. fresh mozzarellatorn into bite-size pieces
3 oz. Parmesan, finely grated(about ¾ cup)

Directions for the sauce:

Heat enough oil in a medium nonreactive saucepan over medium-high heat to cover the bottom. Make sure you aren’t using aluminum, copper or cast iron. These will turn your sauce bitter. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, 6–8 minutes. Add chopped garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Next, blend in tomato paste and cook, stirring, until beginning to darken, about 2 minutes. Add the bay leaf and add the chianti and bring to a boil. Let cook for 2 minutes. Pour in crushed tomatoes, oregano, parsley and fresh basil. Bring to a simmer, partially cover and cook until slightly thickened, 15–20 minutes. Set marinara sauce aside.

Directions for the eggplant prep:

Preheat oven to 400°. Using a vegetable peeler, remove skin from the bottom of each eggplant half, leaving a 1” strip of skin around the cut edges. Using a pastry brush, generously coat each piece on the cut side with oil and sprinkle with a little kosher salt. Place the cut side down. on two lightly oiled and foil lined baking sheets. To keep them from steaming, you do not want to crowd them, so be sure to use two baking sheets.

Now, brush the peeled side lightly with oil and sprinkle with a little more kosher salt and add fresh ground pepper. Cover baking sheets tightly with foil and bake until eggplants are very soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and let them cook for 10 more minutes or until a nice brown crust is evident on the cut side of the eggplant. Remove from oven and let cool.

Directions for the assembly:

Make your breadcrumbs from focaccia bread by placing chunks of bread in a food processor and pulse five or more times just until pieces are broken down into large crumbs. Toss breadcrumbs with remaining 2 Tbsp. oil in a medium bowl. Carefully transfer eggplants whole to buttered casserole dishes. Place eggplants cut side up in a single layer in the dish. Top eggplants with marinara sauce and sliced mozzarella, then sprinkle with breadcrumbs and slivered Parmesan. Bake until mozzarella is bubbling and breadcrumbs are golden, 25–30 minutes. Let cool a little before serving.

©Artful Chefs, 2016 All rights reserved



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