Healthier Eggplant Parmesan Heirloom tomato stacks

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I have a serious love affair with Heirloom tomatoes.  There is no comparison to they’re beauty, aroma and flavor. When Heirlooms are in season I find any reason to use them in dishes. Traditional Eggplant Parmesan is often loaded with high amounts of fat, oils and carbs. In this healthier version, I have baked instead of fry the Eggplant. Which eliminated excess oils. I also omitted piles of cheese in exchanged for one really good, King of Mozzarellas, Buratta cheese. Lastly, I added intensely flavored Heirloom tomato slices to freshen everything up. Tomatoes, paste and Pasta sauces are all great sources of Lycopene. Lycopene is a cancer fighting Phytonutrient. Tomatoes are filled with antioxidants that can protect your body from free radicles and help regulate blood pressure. See why tomatoes are so amazing !!!

If you’ve never heard about Burrata cheese, let me tell you, this stuff will change your life. Its a fresh Italian cheese made of Buffalo Milk. The outer shell is Mozzarella cheese and the inside is made of Stracciatella and cream.  Its very soft, so have to handle it with care. Burrata is not really sliceable , so I like to just gently tear it apart with my hands right when I’m going to serve it. Its is the perfectly paired with really good tomatoes.  It comes in containers filled with brine or water . You’ll be able to find it in most high end grocery stores or Italian markets. I normally purchase Buratta at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods and its really good stuff !

 


Healthier Eggplant Parmesan and Heirloom Tomato Stacks

Serves :6

Ingredients

  • 2 (1-pound) eggplants, peeled and cut into round 1/2-inch-thick slices (12)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups whole-wheat panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of dried Oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of dried or fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon of pepper
  • 4 tablespoon of extra Virgin olive oil
  • 4 balls of fresh Burrata cheese ( two containers)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1-24 ounce jar of Marinara sauce
  • 4 Heirloom tomatoes (yellow or green preferably) sliced into 12 Half inch slices
  • 2 tablespoons of Reduced Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. To make eggplant, combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a shallow dish. Combine panko, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano in a second shallow dish. Dip eggplant in egg mixture; dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess. Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes.
  3. Slice tomatoes into 12 slices , 1/2 inch thick. Season with Kosher salt and set aside
  4. In a medium pot heat up Marinara sauce with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of minced garlic and Chile flake (optional)
  5. To assemble, spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Sprinkle eggplant with a pinch of salt on each. Top with each with 1 tablespoons Marinara sauce; next top each eggplant slice with a tomato slice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with 1 tablespoon of Burrata chesse. Repeat layers once, ending with Marinara.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
  7. Place dish under broiler for 1-2 minutes, just melt cheese slightly
  8. Sprinkle torn Basil and drizzle with some Reduced Balsamic vinegar ( optional)
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