Allow me to share a little secret with you...I'm slightly OCD. Last time I went to the grocery store, I bought a new box of panko breadcrumbs...because I thought mine was almost gone. ERRONEOUS! It was, in fact, still half full. So for the past few weeks, I have had this extra box of panko taking up space in my pantry. To most people, this would not be a big deal. But like I said, I'm kind of OCD...and it turns out that the shelf which has been designated for the panko is pretty full. Since I couldn't trade out my new box for an empty box, I was forced to put the new box in front of the old..and it has been totally messing with my chi. It's been sticking out at an awkward angle and making my shelf look unorganized. Side note...there is plenty of space on the other shelves in the pantry but do you think I could move the extra box down there? No! Because that's not where it goes. Anyways, the whole purpose of me sharing with you was to provide adequate background information so when I told you that I finally used up the old box of panko, you could get adequately excited! And let me tell you...I was PUMPED! In fact, using up the rest of the box of panko may or may not have been the sole motivating factor for me making this dish tonight.
As you may remember, eggplant parmesan has been on my list of things to try. It was on the menu for this week and although it was a day late...I gave it a whirl. I wasn't really sure if I was going to like it and I was fairly certain the hubby wasn't too excited about it, so I made a 1/2 batch. A taste test we'll call it.
Aren't eggplants beautiful? I love looking at them :)
Here's what I did:
Slice an eggplant into semi-thick slices...about 1/2 -3/4 inch thick. Place them in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let them sit for an hour.
In a shallow dish, mix some panko (or regular) breadcrumbs, some italian seasoning and some grated parmesan cheese. In another dish, separate out two egg whites. Rinse the slices and pat them dry. Dip the slices in the egg whites, then in the crumb mixture and place them in a greased baking dish:
Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, flip the slices over and bake for another 15 minutes or until slices are tender and easily pierced with a fork.
Top each slice with a spoonful of ricotta cheese:
Add some spaghetti sauce:
And of course some mozzerella cheese:
If you have any extra breadcrumbs you can throw those on top also. Return to the oven for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted
The result? Pretty good! I think the ricotta is a good addition. I'm not sure I would have liked it as much without it.