Saturday, September 14, 2013

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan

One of my favorite dishes to order at an Italian restaurant is eggplant parmesan.  I just love it!  However, it's usually layers of deep fried eggplant and tons of cheese.  For this meatless Monday meal, I wanted to lighten up this favorite.  And it was a HUGE success!  Lots of flavor and still really yummy!  The base of the dish is grilled eggplant and roasted red peppers (I roasted my own pepper on the grill).  This can be done well in advance which allows you to throw the dish together in less than 10 minutes.  Served with a side salad, it is a great gluten free meal!

Happy Cooking!

Grilled Eggplant Parmesan 
2 medium sized eggplants, washed and sliced lengthwise about 1/4 inch thick
1 red pepper
olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
1 jar or 3 cups of your favorite marinara sauce
1/2 cup of chopped fresh basil
8 oz of fresh mozzarella, cut into slices
1/4 cup of parmesan cheese

Cut your eggplant and red peppers in preparation for cooking.  Brush all sides of the vegetables lightly with olive oil and season them with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook on a pre-heated grill over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes on each side or until tender.  The red pepper must be charred on the skin side so that you can peel the skin off.  This process may take a little longer than the eggplant.  Once the peppers are tender and the skin is charred, place them in a paper bag.  The steam formed will allow the skin to fall off much easier and you will have your own roasted peppers.

Using a 8x10 in pan, or something similar (I didn't have enough to fill a 9x13), spray it with cooking spray or grease with olive oil.  Layer about 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom, or enough to form a thin layer.
Then goes your first layer of eggplant - a single, slightly overlapping layer.

Then top it with some of the fresh mozzarella cheese (sparsely, to control fat and calories), about 1/3 cup of fresh basil, and all of your roasted red pepper as shown below.

At this point you can add another thin layer of sauce, but I chose to just serve the extra sauce on the side.  I didn't want the dish to be too soupy.  Then comes another layer of eggplant (which is also my last).
Cover this in sauce...
And the remaining fresh mozzarella and the parmesan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

Sprinkle with the remaining basil and serve immediately!  Yummy!  Hope you enjoy!

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