Eggplants are one of those prolific summer vegetables for which we run out of recipes long before we run out of produce. Last week we had a couple of eggplants that had been lingering in the refrigerator for several days. Several readers had requested a gluten free recipe for eggplant parmigiana, and I really wanted eggplant parmigiana for supper, but the thought of frying the eggplant slices was looming like a mountain in the distance.
Eggplants are like a sponge. They soak up every drop of oil within 10 feet and instantly transfer it to the parts of your body least needing it. Fat transference was not on my goal list for the day, so I almost started looking for something else to cook for supper. Suddenly a flash of inspiration struck. I realized that I could bake the eggplant slices in the oven and get a crunchy breadcrumb crust without cups and cups of fat. Brilliant!
While the idea was brilliant, the execution was even better. The aromas drifting form the oven soon lured John to the kitchen and even after downing a hearty helping we both came back for a midnight snack.
This post will be my entry for Weekend Herb Blogging (hosted by Kalyn at Kalyn’s Kitchen), so I need to give you some additional information on eggplants. Here’s an excerpt from a great article that I found at The World’s Healthiest Foods.
When laboratory animals with high cholesterol were given eggplant juice, their blood cholesterol, the cholesterol in their artery walls and the cholesterol in their aortas (the aorta is the artery that returns blood from the heart back into circulation into the body) was significantly reduced, while the walls of their blood vessels relaxed, improving blood flow.
It seems I was more accurate than I realized when I said that eggplant will soak up every drop of oil within 10 feet!
Gluten Free Eggplant Parmigiana
2 medium eggplants
1/3 c. gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Brown Rice Flour)
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/4 c. gluten free breadcrumbs (I used crumbled cornbread)
1 large bottle of pasta sauce
1 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
8 leaves of fresh basil
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Peel the eggplants and slice into 1/2″ rounds.
3. Dredge the eggplant slices in flour, so that each side is well coated. Shake the excess flour off of each one and then set it aside while you dredge all of the slices. One slice at a time, dip the eggplant into the beaten eggs and then immediately dredge it in breadcrumbs. Shake the excess breadcrumbs off and place the slice on a baking sheet. Repeat until all slices have been dredged.
5. Bake the eggplant in the oven until fork tender around the edges.
6. Once the eggplant has baked, assemble the casserole starting with a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 casserole dish. Layer slices of eggplant on top of the tomato sauce, followed by layers of mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, eggplant, mozzarella cheese, and tomato sauce. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and minced basil on top.
7. Return the casserole to the oven until the cheese is melted and bubbly.