LUCY BURDETTE: I have made eggplant Parmesan before, but not in a lower salt version. And I would not order it in a restaurant now, because I know the cheese and sauce are loaded with sodium! But we had a few gorgeous purple eggplants in the garden, along with some lovely green peppers, and they were all calling to me.
One of the things I'm learning with my new way of eating is always read the package labels. Then you can make healthier choices, without punishing yourself!
16 ounces fresh mozzarella (85 mg sodium per ounce)
Six green or banana peppers, sliced
One large onion, thinly sliced
Two large purple eggplants
Two jars spaghetti sauce (I used one Francesco Rinaldi no salt, and one Classico spicy red pepper), 40 mg sodium per 1/2 cup for the FR and 310 mg of sodium per 1/2 cup for the Classico
Grated fresh Parmesan cheese
If this seems like too much to do in one day, you can bake the eggplant ahead of time and refrigerate until the next day.
Peel the eggplant and slice it into rounds. Dip each round into a saucer of milk and then into a saucer of breadcrumbs and place on a greased cookie tray. Bake the eggplant for about 25 minutes until soft and beginning to brown.
Sauté the onions and peppers in olive oil until soft.
Grate the fresh mozzarella.
Now you are ready for assembly. Pour half of each sauce in the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan. Layer in the eggplant, followed by onions and peppers, topped by mozzarella. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used, ending with cheese. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan over the top.
Now bake the eggplant casserole at 3:50 for half an hour covered with foil. Remove the foil and bake another 15 minutes until cheese is melted and browning and sauce is bubbling.
May be served with Italian bread and a green salad or other green vegetable. This makes a huge tray of eggplant that serves 6-8 easily. And it was truly good, with the veggies all melting together with the cheese...
Note: although dried shredded mozzarella in a bag is easier, it contains 170 mg of sodium per ounce and is not as tasty as the fresh.
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