Easy Baked Eggplant Mozzarella

Even though I haven't been in school for several years, about now I casually tell myself that fall is get-your-act-together season.  It's time to stop waking up late, wallowing around and justifying going out for ice cream every other night. October is the month to reset ever-so-slightly, get my working boots shined and be as executive as my SO un-corporate job can be.  I need to knock out those to-do lists (and for good measure), maybe stop walking around town makeup-less and hungry.

...Also, I'd like to share that I believe October is THE time to make New Year's resolutions.  It's all about head starts, baby.  And we all know that we could use it.

In other news, eggplant:

Easy Baked Eggplant Mozzarella

I initially made these up last year as 1" miniatures for lighter hors d'oeurves.  They quickly became a client favorite and at each and every occasion, I'd devour 20, finally figuring out that a larger version would make one guilt-free, utterly satisfying dinner.

Although they do take a fair amount of time in the oven (about an hour), they are really just so simple.

Easy Baked Eggplant Mozzarella
Easy Baked Eggplant Mozzarella
Easy Baked Eggplant Mozzarella

Freeze any extras for up to 3 weeks.

Easy Baked Eggplant Mozzarella

INGREDIENTS: (makes about 12)

  • 2 eggplants (about 2#)
  • kosher salt, to season
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup packed shredded parmesan cheese
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (your favorite)
  • Large basil leaves
  • 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced into thin circles

-Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Have ready a sheet tray with rack.
-Cut eggplant into ½” slices and lightly salt.  Set aside while preparing breadcrumbs and eggs.

-Mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan; set into a shallow dish.
-In another shallow dish, add the eggs.

-Using a paper towel, blot eggplant to remove excess moisture.
-Dip the eggplant in the eggs, coating both sides, then into the breadcrumb mixture, also coating both sides.
-Place onto rack, generously spraying tops and bottoms with cooking spray.
-Bake 35-45 minutes until fork tender.
-Remove from oven and set to 400˚ F.

-Spread about 1 tbsp. of tomato sauce onto each eggplant, leaving a small boarder around the edge.
-Top with a basil leaf (or a few if they’re small) and top with a slice of mozzarella.
-Bake for another 15 minutes or until cheese has golden brown spots.

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