New eats

A few weeks back I went out with friends to an Italian restaurant and was (easily) persuaded by the waitress to try their eggplant parmesan when she told me that it was “the best in the city”.

Whether or not it’s earned that “best” moniker, I thought it was absolutely fantastic!  I had never had it, and it wasn’t at all what I pictured it to be.  To me it looked far more like an eggplant lasagna than parmesan; still, I wasn’t going to split hairs on the name of it.

Since then, I’ve kept my eyes peeled for a recipe and ran across a healthy(er) version of it earlier this week and decided to put it on my menu for the weekend.  I went shopping this morning for the ingredients — there wasn’t really too much to it — and started prepping for it in the early afternoon.

I immediately realized that my planning could have been better — turning on the oven for an hour when it’s in the 80’s (and I’m not running the air conditioner) wasn’t the smartest idea.  But, undeterred I forged ahead.

There was no frying involved — frying never equals healthy as I’m sadly aware — so instead the eggplant was baked after dredging in flour, egg and bread crumbs.  A hot cookie sheet and some olive oil did the trick… the eggplant came out of the oven nice and crispy!  I mentally filed this method away for future uses (sweet potato fries, perhaps?).

And guess what?  Apparently eggplant parmesan is supposed to look like eggplant lasagna!  I assembled the layers and put it in the oven — it smelled heavenly.  And you know what?  It tasted just as good!  

My verdict?  While it took a little time to prep, it was worth it.  All in all, an easy recipe because there wasn’t much in the way of slicing, dicing and chopping and most of the ingredients were already in my house.  And while I only made a half recipe, the recipe makes two 8×8 dishes of it and they suggest freezing the second one.  Cook once and eat many times.  I love it!

Mine looked much messier but tasted awesome.

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