Dish of the Week: Light Pesto Eggplant Parmesan
Wendy Lopez of Food Heaven Made Easy shares this week's healthy recipe.
Loop 21: What advice do you have for people who live in "food deserts" or have limited access to fresh produce?
Wendy Lopez: I actually live in a food desert. My advice is to identify any local farmer's markets or green carts that are in your neighborhood. Many times the produce is cheaper in farmer's markets because it's grown locally. In New York City, there's been a surge of initiatives aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in low-access neighborhoods. I've created a short list of supermarkets, farmer's markets, street produce vendors, and bodegas that are in close proximity, so that I know my options.
Alright, enough talk. Here's this week's recipe:
What you need:
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 cup of tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup of pesto (see recipe here)
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella
- 1/8 cup of grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup of bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
(To see more images for this recipe, click here.)
What you do:
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Slice the eggplant in 12 rounds, about 1-inch thick.
- Lightly season each eggplant piece with paprika, salt, and pepper
- On an oiled baking pan, bake eggplant rounds for about 15-20 minutes, until they brown around the edges.
- Remove eggplant from the oven and allow it to cool.
- Place 6 eggplant rounds in a baking dish, and evenly layer each round with mozzarella, tomato sauce, and pesto.
- Place the remaining 6 eggplant rounds on the layered eggplant, and layer once again.
- Finish off by sprinkling breadcrumbs and parmesan.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes at 400F. Enjoy!
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Photo Credit: facebook.com/FoodHeavenMadeEasy