I love the rich aubergine colour and fat rounded curves of eggplant — surely the most elegant and mysterious of vegetables.
The only problem with eggplant, as I see it, is finding a way to cook and serve it that won’t have the household running madly off to a fast-food joint.
Enter the dinner-saving low-fat Cheesy Eggplant Bake, full of vaguely Italian tomatoe-y goodness and covered with bubbly mozzarella.
It’s also delightfully virtuous — something like 250 calories per serving, in that range.
This recipe serves four.
(Really, it does.)
Cheesy Eggplant Bake
1 large eggplant
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1 jar (660ml) Bella Tavola Strained Tomatoes with Basil *
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
* I didn’t have any Bella Tavola Strained Tomatoes with Basil lying around when I felt moved to bake this tonight, so I subbed in a can of crushed tomatoes, a little minced garlic, a little dried basil (because it’s still too early to grab some from the garden), a pinch of hot pepper flakes, and a splash of fat-free Italian dressing: perfect!
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Spray a baking sheet with cooking oil spray.
Slice the eggplant in half-inch slices.
Dip each slice (one at a time, using shallow bowls) in the beaten egg, then in breadcrumbs to coat.
Lay the eggplant slices on the baking sheet and bake for 25 mnutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time.
Meanwhile, pour 1/2 cup of your strained tomatoes into a 9 x 13 glass baking dish — I use Corningware, actually, no problem — and arrange the eggplant on top so the slices just slightly overlap.
Pour the rest of the strained tomatoes on top, and sprinkle with mozzarella.
Cover with foil and put them into the oven (still on at 375 °F) for 30 minutes; then take the foil off and bake for 10-15 minutes longer until the cheese is a lovely golden colour and everything bubbles.