Lighter Eggplant Parmesan

I’m still working on this “presentation” thing. Bear with me!

Eggplant.

Eggplant is that one unexplainable foods that is enjoyed by the earthy-crunchy vegetarian and the raging carnivore alike. I don’t know anyone who asks, “What’s in this, eggplant?” and then hears “Yes!” and then says “Oh, hell no. I HATE eggplant. It sucks. “That’s  not to say those people don’t exist–I know someone out there probably doesn’t like it or is allergic to it or something but just amuse me on this one–eggplant rocks.

And then eggplant Parmesan. That rocks even more. I found this recipe in the archives of Everyday Food from 2008. It wasn’t like typical eggplant parm but in a good way. It was bared-boned delicious and was perfect for a warm, summery night. Even better, it was super easy to make so I can make it again and again and satisfy all those eggplant lovers in my life!

Ingredients

1 large eggplant (2 pounds), sliced 1/2 inch thick crosswise
1 tbsp olive oil
Coarse seat salt and ground pepper
1 cup of fat-free milk
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 garlic gloves
1 cup marinara sauce
1/2 cup grate part-skim mozzarella
1/3 cup grated Parmesan

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Arrange eggplant on two rimmed baking sheets. Brush eggplant on both sides with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown and very tender, 20-25 minutes, turning slices and rotating sheets halfway through.

Meanwhile, make sauce: Off heat, in a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/4 cup of milk, flour, and garlic. Gradually whisk in remaining 3/4 cup milk and 1/2 cup marinara sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer, and cook until pink sauce has thickened. 2-3 minutes.

Spread 1/4 cup marinara sauce in the bottom of a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Alternate layers of baked eggplant with pink sauce. Dollop with remaining 1/4 cup marinara sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake on upper rack until browning and bubbling, 10-15 minutes.

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