By: Patsy Jamieson
This slimmed-down version of eggplant Parmesan is loaded with the hallmark flavors of the classic recipe, but we’ve cut the fat by grilling the eggplant and using low-fat cottage cheese. It’s a great option for entertaining because it can be prepared ahead of time. Fresh tomatoes make a lovely, delicate tomato sauce, but you can use canned tomatoes to save time.
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3 lb. tomatoes (4 to 5 medium), seeded, diced (7 cups) or 3 (14-oz.) cans diced tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 lb. eggplant (3 to 4 medium), unpeeled, sliced crosswise (3/8 inch)
1 cup low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup slivered fresh basil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons panko*
1. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in large wide pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Cook onion 2 to 3 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook and stir 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add tomatoes; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 20 to 30 minutes or until sauce has thickened, stirring frequently and mashing tomatoes with spoon.
2. Puree sauce with immersion blender or mash with potato masher. Stir in salt.
3. Meanwhile, heat grill. Spray both sides of eggplant slices with cooking spray. Grill, covered, over medium-high heat or coals 8 to 12 minutes or until browned and tender, turning once.
4. Heat oven to 400°F. Spray 13×9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce over bottom of dish. Arrange one-third of eggplant slices over sauce; spread with 3/4 cup tomato sauce. Spoon 1/2 cup cottage cheese over sauce; sprinkle with 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup basil and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Top with one-third of the eggplant. Repeat layering once. Top with remaining eggplant; spread with remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese.
5. Combine panko and remaining 1 teaspoon oil in small bowl; sprinkle over casserole. (Recipe can be made to this point 2 days ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Add 5 to 10 minutes to baking time.)
6. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until casserole is bubbly and top is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
PER SERVING: 190 calories, 8.5 g total fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 13 g protein, 18.5 g carbohydrate, 15 mg cholesterol, 470 mg sodium, 7 g fiber
TIP *Panko are coarse bread crumbs usually found next to other bread crumbs in the supermarket.