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Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana

                                                  

Eggplant Parmesan is a guilty pleasure for a lot of people. It’s delicious, but alas, fried.

This recipe uses grilled eggplant to avoid the heavy frying, and adds some breadcrumbs to keep that bit of crunch you might otherwise miss.

The tomato sauce is spot on, and I thought this dish overall was a great alternative to its unhealthier cousin.

                                                           

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Grilled Eggplant Parmigiana

Adapted from Jamie Oliver

Serves: 6

Ingredients:
3 large firm eggplants
Olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 heaped teaspoon dried oregano
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
Salt and black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh basil (alternately, 2 tablespoons dried basil)
2 cups Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1 cup dried Japanese breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, chopped

Preparation:

  1. Preheat grill on High heat.*
  2. Remove the stalks from the eggplants, slice them up into 1cm thick slices, and set aside. 
  3. Put 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a large pan on Medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and dried oregano and cook until the onion is soft and the garlic has a tiny bit of colour, about 8 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes to the onion, garlic and oregano. Stir to mix then put a lid on the pan and simmer on Low for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Grill the eggplant on both sides until lightly charred then set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  5. When the tomato sauce is reduced, season it with salt & pepper to taste, and add in the wine vinegar and basil.
  6. In a 9×13 inch lasagna dish put in a small layer of tomato sauce, then a thin scattering of Parmesan, followed by a single layer of eggplant. Repeat these layers until you’ve used all the ingredients up, finishing with a little sauce and another good sprinkling of Parmesan.
  7. Toss the breadcrumbs in olive oil, to moisten, along with the freshly chopped oregano and sprinkle on top of the Parmesan.
  8. Cover with tinfoil and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until golden, crisp and bubbly, about 30 additional minutes.

* Note: if a grill is not available, feel free to use your oven’s broiler