Friday, October 31, 2014

Skillet Eggplant Parmesan

I love eggplant.  It somehow took me about 28 years to figure this out, but now that I know it, I can't get enough of it.  Interestingly, I have never made any legitimate eggplant parm.  I think I'm scared.  I have become such a connoisseur of it and order it any time I see it on a menu.  I am afraid my own won't match up if I don't have the perfect recipe.  I keep making other eggplant parm-y things without attempting the real deal.  Maybe someday :)

For now, however this will do.  And it will do very well.  Because it is delicious.  And far healthier than a fried eggplant parm.  It gets roasted rather than fried (I think the name "skillet" eggplant parm is misleading; it sounds like it gets fried in a skillet; in fact, it gets roasted and then baked in a skillet - or any other baking dish).

There is nothing quite like roasted eggplant.  It's almost creamy, and so flavorful.  So imagine roasted eggplant, nestled in with tomato sauce, melted mozzarella, and freshly grated Parmesan.  Toss some fresh basil on top when you pull it out of oven, and you're done.   This is such a fast and easy - and dare I say healthy? - version of eggplant parm.  No breading, no frying.  If you're in the mood for eggplant, and you don't have enough time (or courage) to do the real deal, this is a great alternative.  Make some spaghetti and serve both and you have an Italian feast.

I've made this recipe twice.  It's a good meal for people who are on gluten-free or low carb diets, which happen to include lots of the people in my family.  It's also just downright delicious no matter what you are eating or not eating.  Just make sure your diet plan includes this roasted eggplant parm this week.


skillet eggplant parmesan
from Annie's Eats
serves 6

2 large eggplants (about 3 pounds total), sliced into 1/2-inch thick slices
extra virgin olive oil
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 1/4 cups tomato sauce
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
fresh basil, for garnish


1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Lay the eggplant slices on baking sheets in a single layer.  Brush lightly with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, flip and repeat on the other side of all the slices.  Roast, flipping halfway through the baking time, until slightly soft and golden brown, about 35 minutes total.  Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

2) Spoon 1 1/4 cups of the tomato sauce in a large deep sauté pan.  A casserole dish works just as well.  Layer half of the eggplant slices evenly in the pan.  Sprinkle with a third of the grated Parmesan and half of the mozzarella.  Spread another 1 cup of sauce over the cheese, the remaining eggplant slices, another third of Parmesan and the remaining mozzarella.  Top with the remaining Parmesan.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbling.

3) Remove from the oven and let cool 15 minutes.  Garnish with fresh basil and serve warm.

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