Contest-Winning Eggplant Parmesan

Contest-Winning Eggplant Parmesan

Contest-Winning Eggplant Parmesan

Because my recipe calls for baking the eggplant instead of frying it, it’s much healthier than other parmesans! The prep time is a little longer than for some recipes, but the Italian flavors and rustic elegance are well worth it.
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Ingredients
3 large eggs, beaten
2-1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 medium eggplants, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 jars (4-1/2 ounces each) sliced mushrooms, drained
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 jar (28 ounces) spaghetti sauce
Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. Place eggs and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip eggplant slices in eggs, then coat in crumbs. Place on baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake until tender and golden brown, 15-20 minutes, turning once.
In a small bowl, combine mushrooms, basil and oregano. In another small bowl, combine mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
Spread 1/2 cup sauce into a 13×9-in. baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer with a third of the mushroom mixture, a third of the eggplant, 3/4 cup sauce and a third of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice.
Bake, uncovered, until heated through and cheese is melted, 25-30 minutes.
Nutrition Facts
1 serving: 305 calories, 12g fat (5g saturated fat), 102mg cholesterol, 912mg sodium, 32g carbohydrate (12g sugars, 9g fiber), 18g protein.

Oregano is best added at the end of cooking to emphasize its natural flavor. If you use dried oregano, squeeze it lightly to release its essential oils and aromas. Use oregano to make marinades, as it goes well with olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil and parsley. We also recommend adding oregano to salted fish, which will achieve a special Mediterranean taste. Very often, marjoram and oregano are mixed. You can best distinguish them by the fact that marjoram has a sweet, floral aroma and a sweet-bitter taste, and oregano has a more intense aroma.