Not traditional... but grilled, and stacked.
You see, occasionally I try to lighten up some of our favorites...
This time I did a different take on Eggplant Parmesan.
It is a dish that we love, but most versions can be loaded with fat.
One of my favorite elements of the traditional version is the crunchy, breaded texture of the fried eggplant... which unfortunately contains a fair amount of fat and calories. :(
In an effort to lighten up the recipe I lightly brushed the eggplant slices with olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper and cooked them until just tender on the grill.
Using the same cooking method for the purple onion slices, I stacked them on top, then topped with a thick slice of tomato.
Next I topped it with a big mounded KISS of grated mozzarella cheese ~
(tossed the cheese with some minced fresh basil and fresh parsley, first).
Then sprinkled the entire stack with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
I placed the stacks into a 325* (F) oven, just until heated through, and cheese melted.
When thinking out the recipe, I knew I would have to pump up the flavors elsewhere since I had eliminated many of the yummy fat laden elements, so I made a modified version of
Giada De Laurentiis' Fresh Spinach Pesto (click.)
I love that recipe!
But this time I needed a thinner sauce, rather than thick pesto so I modified her recipe by increasing the lemon juice slightly, adding a little water (to make a thinner pesto), and reduced the amount of oil and toasted pine nuts.
It complimented the stacks perfectly ~ I spooned the cool sauce around the warm eggplant stacks, and garnished with a few more toasted pine nuts for crunch and visual interest.
Happily, my slimmed down version of Eggplant Parmesan received thumbs-up around the table, so I'll definitely make it again.
We found it satisfying and filling but not heavy.
If you try it my way, I hope you'll like it, too. :)
P.S. A drizzle of deeply aged, sweet Balsamic Vinegar would not be out of place as a finish over this dish, at all.