These Mediterranean-inspired baked eggplants melts are easy to prepare and can be served as a side dish or a vegetarian main. Think of this recipe as a deconstructed, healthier version of eggplant Parmesan. You get all the delicious flavors of eggplant Parmesan with a lot less fat and calories, and it’s much less time-consuming to prepare than traditional eggplant Parmesan too.
Eggplant Parmesan is one of those quintessential Italian comfort foods and it often reminds me of nonna’s home-cooking, bringing me back to her basement kitchen where she spent the majority of her time whipping up homemade meals. Eggplant Parmesan is a labour of love, but it’s so worth the effort and time it takes to prepare it. Having said that, as much as one might want to, we don’t always have the time to prepare such labour and time-intensive meals. With this dish you’re essentially making that same comfort food, just a lighter and less time-consuming version of it. You can also feel good about making this recipe because you are reducing the amount of fat and calories by using less mozzarella and by baking the eggplant as opposed to deep-frying it. Although (in my opinion) the fresh tomato sauce is a key ingredient in this recipe, you can cut more corners by preparing this with jarred tomato sauce. This dish might seem less flavourful than the traditional recipe but I can assure that the flavour of the eggplant really shines through and is the perfect canvas for the tangy tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and refreshing basil leaves.
If you try this recipe (and love it!) be sure to snap a pic and tag me on Instagram with #bitesforfoodies so I can see your creation!