In this gluten-free interpretation of eggplant Parmigiana, the eggplant slices are baked rather than fried, and a flavorful Italian grated cheese blend subs for the usual mozzarella.
- 1 eggplant, about 14 ounces, long rather than round, unpeeled, cut into 18 slices ¼- to 1⁄3-inch thick
- Olive oil cooking spray
- Fine sea salt and black pepper
- 1 slice soft whole-grain gluten-free sandwich bread, frozen
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1½ cups (12 ounces) marinara sauce
- 2 ripe Roma tomatoes (4 ounces total), diced
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus 2 sprigs for garnish
- 2 cups (4 ounces) pre-shredded Italian cheese blend, such as Asiago-Fontina-Provolone-Parmesan
Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange the eggplant slices in one layer on two large baking sheets. Spray with olive oil, turn, and spray the second side.
Bake for 10 minutes, turn the slices over, and bake for a further 10 minutes until slightly softened and just starting to brown. Season with salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, break the bread into bits and reduce to crumbs in a food processor. Blend with 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan, and set aside.
Spray an 8 x 11-inch shallow baking dish with olive oil. Spoon marinara sauce evenly in six spots in the baking dish. Forming six stacks (this simplifies serving), layer eggplant slices, marinara sauce, chopped fresh tomato, chopped basil, shredded cheese, and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Repeat once. End with a layer of eggplant and a dollop of marinara sauce spread on top of each stack.
Sprinkle with the reserved bread crumb-Parmesan mixture. Spray lightly with olive oil. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown and bubbling. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving, garnished with basil.
Nutrition Analysis: 410 cal, 19 g fat, 50 mg chol, 1540 mg sodium, 38 g carbs, 10 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 22 g protein.
Gluten-Free Living Food Editor Jackie Mallorca has over a dozen cookbooks to her credit. Her latest titles include The Wheat-Free Cook and Gluten-Free Italian.