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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Grilled Baby Eggplant Parmesan

IMG00249-20100629-1945While tapping into my Italian roots has never been a problem, the calories that come with certain dishes are! That being said, I have discovered another way of preparing melanzane e parmigiana (eggplant parmesan) that tastes delicious while avoiding some of the saturated fat that comes with pan frying. This dish can be eaten on it’s own or served a side.
Grilled Baby Eggplant Parmesan
Serves 4
3 baby Italian eggplants
1 big ball of fresh mozzarella
olive oil
1 pint of marinara sauce (fresh or for those lazy types jarred)
kosher salt (to taste)
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
grated parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat up the bbq or grill pan (if you are using a grill pan spray it with non-stick spray). Peel the eggplant and cut them lengthwise into thin slices. Lightly brush the eggplant in olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper on them. When the grill is heated up, lay the eggplant down and grill them on each side, turning them occasionally to avoid burning. When they become tender, remove them from the heat and lay them on a paper towel so that the excess water drains out from the eggplant. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees. Take a standard 10'” glass pie dish, spray it with non-stick spray, and coat it in a thin layer of Marinara sauce (I use homemade Marinara sauce that I freeze in pint containers and defrost as needed). You can also use whatever jarred tomato sauce you prefer from the grocery store (my grandfather is probably rolling over in his grave at this suggestion). Line the pie plate with the grilled eggplant. Top off the eggplant with another light layer of Marinara sauce. Take the fresh mozzarella and cut it into thin slices. Cover the eggplant and Marinara with the slices of mozzarella. Add another extremely thin layer of Marinara sauce on top of the mozzarella. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until the fresh mozzarella becomes a golden brown color as seen in the picture displayed. Remove it from the heat. If there is any excess water, tilt the pie dish holding the contents in the dish with a spatula and drain out any excess water from the pie dish. Let the dish sit for 5 minutes at room temperature so it settles a bit. Offer crushed red pepper and grated cheese with it. Buon Appetito !!!!

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