If I could have any meal, odds are I will probably say eggplant parmesan. I adore it! I love the fritters plain and eat them like chips. But smother them in tomato based marinara sauce and mozzarella, I am in heaven!!! Okay, my mouth is watering! Only down side, is the calories and fat content involved in the meal. Between layering the decadent and calorie filled cheese with the fried eggplant and heaping mounds of sauce, it is definitely not an everyday dish. However, I have a twist that is not only delicious but lightens the load on calories and fat. By adding the beefsteak tomatoes and fresh basil, limiting the sauce, and believe it or not by using the fresh slices of mozzarella instead of a complete layer of cheese, it cuts the calories. And because of the added veggies, it fills you up faster. So Plus, in my opinion, it ends up looking prettier.
I mentioned not that long ago about my busy stepdaughter’s visit and how when she comes to dinner I take the opportunity to make dinner a little bit more special than normal. So for my vegetarian stepdaughter I made my eggplant parmesan with a twist. It involves fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, whole slices of beefsteak tomatoes, my eggplant fritters and my semi-homemade marinara sauce. Its really simple and most of it can be made in advance. She, my picky boys and I all devoured it and we were able to send some leftovers with her.
eggplant fritters (2 eggplants)
semi-homemade marinara sauce
fresh basil leaves
3 beefsteak tomatoes
Belgioioso Fresh Mozzarella (2 balls)
grated parmesan cheese (1 to 2 cups)
salt and pepper
How to Put It All Together:
2. Slice your beefsteak tomatoes about 1/4 inch thick and lay them on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper and olive oil. Broil in the oven until slightly cooked – about 3 to 5 minutes. Allow to cool to the touch.
3. Slice your mozzarella about 1/4 inch thick. Prep the remaining ingredients. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
4. Layer your ingredients by altering eggplant, sauce, mozzarella, basil leaf, mozzarella, beefsteak tomato slice and mozzarella in a 9″x13″ pan. Repeat until the pan. You should end up with three rows. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.
5. Bake in the oven until the cheese starts to bubble and is melted. It takes about 15 to 30 minutes to cook fully. Remove and allow to cool.
6. Garnish with a sprig of basil. Serve warm and with garlic bread and a nice salad.