As you all know, Andrew and I recently took a trip to Italy (you can read all about our trip here). It was here I fell in love with so many incredible tastes and flavours, one of which includes eggplant parmigiana (oh em gee, I’m salivating even righting this post!). With eggplants, basil and tomatoes coming into season (read all about why we should eat seasonally here), I thought this would be the PERFECT opportunity to share this delicious dish. Trust me when I tell you that you are going to want to make double – it’s that yummy.
Cooking tomatoes actually releases greater quantities of lycopene, as well as boosting the tomatoes total antioxidant capabilities. Lycopene is a powerful phytochemical known for it’s ‘anti-cancer’ properties.
Parmesan cheese is drained of whey during the process of natural ageing. As a result, Parmesan often contains only trace levels of lactose and as such, can often be digested by those with a lactose intolerance. PLEASE NOTE: If you have a lactose allergy and/or intolerance, please consult your health professional, prior to consuming Parmesan cheese.
- 1 large eggplant sliced into 1cm slices
- 1 tsp. celtic sea salt
- 1 tsp. olive oil/coconut oil
- 1 small brown onion finely chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 medium carrot peeled
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 400g can diced tomatoes
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves chopped
- 125 g parmesan cheese,
- Fresh basil leaves, to serve
Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut eggplants into 1cm slices, transfer to a colander and sprinkle with celtic sea salt and set aside for 20 minutes; this will help draw water out of eggplant and prevent the final product from becoming soggy. Rinse eggplant slices under cold water, pat dry.
In a food processor, combine carrot, garlic and onion and process until very finely chopped.
In a frypan over medium heat, add oil and above vegetables. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until onion has softened. Add tomato paste, tomatoes, basil and 1/4 cup cold water. Stir well. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.
In a new fry-pan, over medium-high heat. Cook eggplant, in batches, adding extra oil to pan when necessary. Drain on paper towel.
Arrange eggplant slices on the bottom of a medium sized baking dish. Cover with 1/2 of tomato mixture, sprinkle with half of parmesan cheese. Continue layering, finishing with cheese. Season. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is golden.
Sprinkle with basil leaves and serve whilst still hot.
- I use the most beautiful parmesan cheese from Coles called ‘Delre Parmesan‘. A little more expensive than the other pre-packaged varieties that you can get in the aisle, but it’s the real deal. If I’m organised, I will opt to buy a block of Parmesan at the Farmer’s Market.
- In terms of diced tomatoes, I use ‘Blis Organic Tomatoes’, a glass jar variety to avoid BPA exposure. I pick them up from the health food store.
- We add this to a side of fish or roast chicken however, it will pair with almost anything. Serves 4 as a side dish.