Monday, October 11, 2010

More ways to get your veggies...

Why not try eggplant parmesan!  Eggplant is filled with phytonutrients with a super antioxidant punch.  They contain dietary fiber, potassium, folate and a bunch of Vitamin B. 

Eggplant Parm starts off with a simple, yet delicious marinara sauce.  It's a cinch to make your own but if you are pressed for time, your favorite jar variety will taste just as yummy.

Your recipe should include olive oil, onions, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper and of course whole fresh or canned tomatoes.  Squish them right in the pot!  Tomatoes and garlic are well known for thier antioxidant properties. As well as fresh herbs!

Then cut your eggplant to desired thickness, 1/4 inch will suffice.  Salt the tops and cover with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture.  You can do this while your sauce is simmering.  I put a heavy skillet on top of the stack to compress and draw out the moisture.  It takes about an hour, the same as the sauce.

Then build your assembly line:  flour so the egg will stick, egg so the bread crumbs will stick.  You will get a beautiful tasty crust after pan frying.

Now on to the skillet or grill pan.  I prefer the grill pan so the eggplant does not absorb too much olive oil.  They are like little sponges and sop up everything.  Make sure your olive oil is hot. 

Now on to layering your eggplant parm.  Start with a layer of sauce and then pieces of grilled eggplant.  On top of the eggplant smooth on some ricotta cheese, then sprinkle on a layer of fresh parmesan cheese.  Remember that parm cheese can be a bit salty, use sparingly.  Then on top of that sprinkle on fresh mozzarella.  The shreaded bagged variety works just as well though.

Continue building up the layers until you are close to the top of the pan.  Save room for the last layer of mozzarella!

In to a 375 degree oven...

25-30 minutes later you will have a golden and bubbly delight!

Since this is a time consuming process, I make up a few pans and freeze.  Excellent for a busy weeknight dinner.  Serve with whole wheat pasta or better yet, grilled zuchini or asparagus!

Buon appetito!