Eggplant Parmesan

by Veronika W
(Mississauga, ON, Canada)


Eggplant Parmesan:
• 2 eggplants (about 1 pound each), cut into 12 slices each
• 1½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
• ¾ cup whole-wheat flour
• ¾ cup liquid egg whites or 6 large egg whites
• 2½ cups fine dry breadcrumbs (see Tips), preferably whole-wheat
• 3 tbsp. Italian seasoning, divided
• 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
• Olive oil cooking spray
• 2 (28-oz.) cans crushed tomatoes (see Tips)
• 1½ cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
• 4 tbsp. finely shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
• Fresh basil for garnish
1) Place 2 layers of paper towels on a baking sheet or cutting board. Place half the eggplant slices on the paper towels. Sprinkle with ¾ teaspoon salt. Cover with another double layer of paper towels. Top with the remaining eggplant slices and sprinkle with the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt. Cover with another double layer of paper towels. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour
2) Position oven racks in upper and lower positions and place a large baking sheet on each rack to heat; preheat to 425°F
3) Blot the eggplant slices with more paper towels. Put flour in one shallow dish, egg whites in another. Combine breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning in a third dish. Dip each slice of eggplant in the flour, shaking off excess. Dip in the egg, letting the excess drip off, then press into the breadcrumbs
4) Remove the heated baking sheets from the oven and add 2 tablespoons oil to each, tilting to coat. Place half the eggplant on each baking sheet, not letting the slices touch. Generously coat the tops with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the slices over and continue baking until golden brown, about 15 minutes more
5) Combine crushed tomatoes and the remaining 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning in a medium bowl
6) To assemble: Coat two 8-inch-square baking dishes with cooking spray. Spread ½ cup of the tomatoes in each prepared baking dish. Make a layer of 6 eggplant slices over the sauce. Spread with 1 cup of tomatoes and sprinkle with ¼ cup mozzarella. Top with the remaining 6 slices of eggplant, a generous 1 cup tomatoes, ½ cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan
7) To serve: bake until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes. Serve garnished with basil, if desired. To freeze: Let unbaked casserole(s) cool to room temperature. Tightly wrap with heavy-duty foil (or freezer paper) and freeze. (To prevent foil from sticking to the cheese, coat with cooking spray first)

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