Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo

Oven-fried eggplant parmesan stays extra crunchy when topped with cheese and marinara only just before serving. Served alongside orzo seasoned with parsley.

Eggplant Parmesan with Parsley Orzo

For how much I enjoy eggplant there seems to be a shortage of eggplant recipes only my blog, only five to date and now the sixth today. Most of the recipes are pretty creative though with things such as eggplant veggie burgers, eggplant stuffed shells, and also eggplant manicotti. I do also already have a recipe for the classic eggplant parmesan but the one I am sharing today is a little different. The first version was layered in a casserole after the eggplant was breaded. This time it is served separately in order to preserve the crunchiness of the breading. Slices of fresh mozzarella cheese are thrown on at the end and placed under the broiler just long enough to get all gooey. Served with warm marinara and orzo seasoned with parsley.

One year ago: Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Granola Bars

EGGPLANT PARMESAN WITH PARSLEY ORZO

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked whole wheat orzo pasta

1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp salt, divided

1 medium eggplant

3 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 tsp water

1 egg

3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

1-1/3 cups marinara sauce, warmed

1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

  1. Arrange oven rack 10 inches below broiler element. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Line a cooking sheet with aluminum foil, place a cooling rack on top and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  3. Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and return to pan. Add parsley, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss.
  4. While orzo cooks, cut top and bottom off eggplant. Partially peel eggplant lengthwise with a vegetable peeler, leaving long purple stripes. Cut eggplant crosswise into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) slices; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  5. Place flour in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl whisk together 1 teaspoon water and egg. Combine panko, oregano, and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a third shallow bowl.
  6. Dredge eggplant in flour, dip in egg mixture, and then panko mixture, gently pressing mixture to adhere. Arrange on prepared baking sheet. Lightly coat tops of eggplant slices with cooking spray. Broil 3 minutes on each side or until browned and tender but firm. Top evenly with mozzarella; broil 1 minute or until cheese melts.
  7. Arrange 1/2 cup orzo mixture on each of 4 plates, top each serving with 2 eggplant slices and 1/3 cup marinara. Sprinkle evenly with pepper.

Source: Adapted slightly from Cooking Light, May 2014.

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