Before I start this post, I would like to dedicate this post to Robert M Valentine Jr Esq. Bob, ( or Bob Loblaw as I refer to him as- Arrested Development.. anyone?) has recently become a vegetarian to make a healthy lifestyle change and I wanted to give him a recipe that was easy and not lacking in flavor. Also.. if you need a lawyer and are in Florida call him up. He just started his own firm. Yey!
Can I just say, I have out done myself on this dish! I had a ton of home made ricotta left over so I wanted to make something with it. I love eggplant. I almost never fry eggplant anymore. I almost always use panko breadcrumbs because they get super crunchy when baked. I also do not peel the eggplant. I enjoy the texture of the skin. I was all out of panko, so I used the Italian breadcrumbs I had on hand. I was nervous, but they turned out really great! I only sprayed them with cooking spray and they came out as crispy as if I fried them. I think this is a nice low fat version of eggplant parmasean. I would eat this all day, every day. It helps that the ricotta added an amazing creaminess to the dish. It adds a great textural contrast to the crunchiness of the eggplant. I added a dollop of tomato sauce to the top and a few springs of basil. Done. Easy weeknight meal with minimal effort. Some melted fresh mozzarella would be great on top here also.I'm not afraid to admit it, I ate the entire eggplant. Granted it was just feeding me, so I picked a small one, but I ate an entire breaded eggplant. Then went to spin an hour after! Yikes.
The recipe for this is actually super simple. I will describe in pictures.
1 medium eggplant
1 cup ricotta cheese
Your favorite red sauce
Basil for garnish
2 cups panko or regular bread crumbs
1. Pre heat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice eggplant in uniform slices and dip in egg then bread crumbs to coat. Then place on sheet pan. Do yourself a favor and put spices in the bread crumbs. I add red pepper flakes and garlic powder.
2. Bread each of the eggplant slices and set aside. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray and place slices on pan.
3. Bake for 25 minutes ( depending on thickness of eggplant) flipping half way through. Usually when the bread crumbs are toasted, they are done.