I’m having a lazy Sunday, after an incredibly stressful week, writing my blog for Fiesta Friday. If you are a new blogger then you should find a weekly virtual group that will challenge you to write. Fiesta Friday at The Novice Gardener motivates me to create recipes and photos every week. I’ve made a commitment, it’s on my calendars and it gets done.
I have been exploring ways to enrich my life outside of medicine. Please don’t think for a minute that I don’t love medicine. Medicine was my first love and has been my passion since I was 12 years old. But I know there’s more to me than being a physician. I’m not sure where this silly little blog is taking me but I know for sure that writing most days keeps me writing and that’s what writers need to do, right? Yes, write.
Please enjoy my original spin on baked eggplant Parmesan with a pesto twist. Not low-fat, not carb free, not a nutritional power house but a delicious cheesy comfort food recipe.
When eating a rich main course keep your portion size reasonable and balance your plate with 1/4 main dish and 3/4 fresh fruit and vegetables. Take what you need and savor every bite.
1/4 main protein
3/4 fruits and vegetables
Add color and textures for visual and flavor satiety. The flowers are nasturtiums which I grow for salads. I keep my herbs and edible flowers free of pesticides and inorganic fertilizers.
Edible Organic Nasturtiums
For those of us who never follow a recipe. Here’s the quick step version. Keep reading for the printable recipe.
Basil, Pine nuts, Olive Oil, Parmesan , Garlic
Dredge eggplant in egg and Parmesan
Bake until golden
Layer with pesto
Bake at 375 F until golden
Eggplant Parmesan With Pesto
(You will have extra)
1 bunch of fresh basil, large stems removed, about 2 cups
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tablespoon olive oil or more for the consistency you like
3 large eggs
1 cup breadcrumbs, I used panko
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, no need to peel
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, or 1/2 cup shredded
Spray of olive oil
1 (8-ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese,
3 cups jarred or homemade, natural marinara (I used Trader Joe’s Marinara)
1/2 cup fresh or store bought pesto
Blend pesto ingredients in the food processor until blended if using fresh. I highly recommend fresh because it’s so easy to make.
Whisk eggs until blended. Combine breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Lightly salt eggplant then dip slices into egg mixture. Dredge in breadcrumb mixture.
Bake eggplant in a single layer on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray or lightly greased with olive oil. Bake at 375 F for 30 minutes until golden, turning slices at 15 minutes.
Spread 1 cup of marinara sauce in a 9 X 13 baking dish, I prefer glass, and arrange one-half of the eggplant in a single layer. Spread 1/4 cup of pesto over eggplant. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Repeat pesto layer and spoon 2 cups of marinara over the top. Top with the remaining mozzarella.
Bake, covered, at 375° for 35 minutes. Remove cover and bake 10 more minutes or until cheese melts and is golden.