Eggplant parmesan always brings to mind ooey gooey cheesy goodness, sure to send the calories skyrocketing off the charts. I spotted this recipe quite a while back and just never got around to making it, but would glance at it once in a while. I must say, I was not sure how it would be. It’s a “clean eating” recipe so I was picturing bland. I don’t know why. And I had NO idea what to expect from bulgur.
I was blown away! This is amazing. I actually kind of burnt the eggplant a little because I set the pan on the oven not realizing that it was on, but turns out it was great that way because it made it have some crispness. Gonna have to figure out how to achieve that next time! I’d also like to note that I will type out the original recipe, but we halved it for just the two of us. We figured it would be soggy leftover. It was the perfect amount for two, so this recipe should feed four to six. Also, the original recipe calls for pine nuts but we used walnuts and would do it again next time, the flavors were excellent!
Now I have to plant a few extra eggplants in the garden so I can have this more often! Oh, by the way it’s quick to fix too!
I present to you…
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
6 tbsp plus 1 cup Italian cheese blend
1.5 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 eggplant, washed and cut into round slices
1 1/3 cup chicken broth
1 cup bulgur
2 medium tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 cloves garlic
5 basil leaves
2 basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp butter
Preheat oven to 425.
Coat 2 pans with sides with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk the egg whites in one bowl and combine the panko, 6 tbsp cheese, oregano, garlic powder and salt in another bowl. Dip eggplant slices first into the egg whites then into the mixture, then place on the baking sheets. Bake 25 minutes.
Add chicken broth to a small pot with a lid, bring to a boil and add the bulgur. Cover and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
Place the tomatoes, garlic, tomato paste and 5 basil leaves in a food processor. Pulse to make a chunky sauce. Pour into a saucepan and bring to a boil, simmer 8-10 minutes, taste for seasoning. Remove eggplant from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Let heat up while you’re preparing the eggplant.
DON’T place the pan on a burner that’s on!! Spoon even amounts of sauce onto all pieces of eggplant, then top with additional cheese. Using a spatula, place one piece of eggplant onto another, making a 2 tier stack. You should be able to consolidate to one pan now. Place back in the oven under the broiler and watch closely. Remove when cheese has melted and is turning golden.
Fluff the bulgur with a spoon and add the walnuts, butter and chopped basil, allow to melt. Serve alongside the eggplant.