Fresh and Easy Eggplant Parmigiana

Before becoming vegan, parmigiana “you name it” was one of my favorite dishes. Who could resist anything coated in oil, two or three kinds of cheese, and tomato sauce?

So when I spied a pack of decent sized “American (globe) eggplant” the other day (vs. the smaller and more commonly available Japanese variety-this is Japan, go figure!), I knew it was time to try out the low-fat version of eggplant parmesan I had seen on

I pretty much used Susan’s recipe as is, except rather than making breadcrumbs out of whole grain bread, I used 2/3 cup whole wheat style panko breadcrumbs. Also-considering the cleanup–I concluded that grilling the eggplant slices outside on the gas grill would be easier than using the oven.

One thing I hadn’t counted on was that the first day of Fall still felt a lot like our record-breaking Summer, so I felt as though I was grilling myself along with the eggplant. Fortunately, I had cooled off by the time I had assembled the casserole and it was ready to eat. I thoroughly enjoyed it with some of Bryanna’s Dutch pumpernickel bread.

As a result of not battering and frying the eggplant slices (instead brushing them with minimal oil and sprinkling with breadcrumbs), the resulting taste was light and fresh, with the eggplant flavor in tact. Grilling the eggplant all at once saves a lot of time compared to pan frying, making this a lot easier than traditional eggplant parmesan, too.

For an added treat, I prepared a double batch of tomato sauce and extra “cheese sauce” to use in a tray of vegan baked ziti in the near future.

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