Eggplant Parm Pile-Up

As much as I try to teach the kids to be as neat as they can with dinner, sometimes it’s fun to get a little down and dirty. Now what better food is there than “Eggplant” to take us there? As a loyal eggplant lover, one of my favorite was to cook up the dish is crisp it up in a sizzling pan and then pile on lots of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. No need for the heavy mozzarella cheese; a dollop of ricotta is all you need. YUM!!!

“EGGPLANT PARM PILE-UP”

INGREDIENTS
• 2 eggs beaten
• 2 cups whole wheat seasoned bread crumbs
• 1 cup of whole wheat white flour
• 2 medium-sized eggplant peeled and sliced into 1/8′ rounds
• 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
• 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1 teaspoon
• 1 cup low-sugar tomato sauce
• Ground pepper
• ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ½ teaspoon onion powder
• 4 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1/2 cup part skim ricotta cheese
• ground parmesan cheese for finish

DIRECTIONS
1). Lay the eggplant flatly on a paper towel and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Let them sit for 15-20 minutes and then wipe off the salt with a paper towel. (This process is known as “de-gorging” and simply removes the excess moisture from eggplant.)
2.) Create a breading station with 3 separate shallow bowls to work with.
3.) In the first bowl mix together the flour with salt, pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
4.) Pour the eggs into the second bowl and in the third bowl combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
5.) Now working in batches of one eggplant at a time, dust them first with the flour mixture continuing on to plunge them into the egg mixture. (Let extra drippings fall off)
6.) Lastly roll each eggplant slice into the breadcrumbs-Parmesan crumbs until fully coated.
7.) Repeat the process with the remaining slices until each one is complete.
8.) Heat a large skillet with the oil until sizzling hot.
9.) Line a large baking tray with paper towels.
10.) Cook the eggplant slices in a single layer in the pan for about 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. (Do not overcrowd the pan)
11.) Drain the eggplants on the paper towels and heat up the tomato sauce in the microwave or a small saucepan
12.) Gently pile the eggplant onto the platter.
13.) Pour the tomato sauce all over and scoop the ricotta cheese right into the center. Sprinkle with ground parm cheese and ENJOY

nicole meyer

Foodie, Nicole Meyer (A.K.A. Nic) adores sharing her best dishes with you. Nibble your way through her everyday recipes, seasonal finds and holiday tips. For more, visit nibblesbynic.com