So, you know how sometimes you want to have a super decadent, luscious meal but ideally, afterwards you would like to still be able to see your toes while standing without having to suck in your belly? #TheStruggle
The proverbial struggle between delicious and healthy almost seems to be too much sometimes. Can I get an amen?
Well, I like recipes like this because they feel just a little bit “light” without sacrificing so much of the "decadence" we all crave. Because we’re pretty and we deserve it.
Gluten-Free Eggplant Parmesan
2 Cups Whole, Roasted Almonds
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon Water
1 Can San Marzano Tomatoes
1 Cup Dry Red Wine
½ White Onion, chopped
2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced
Crushed Red Pepper
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
If you’ll notice, I didn’t list how much eggplant because you can use as much (or as little) eggplant as you need to feed all the faces you need to feed. Depending on the thickness, about 2 slices will feed each person. Unless you’re feeding giants or people who frequently use the terms “fit-fam” and “gains." They will probably need more.
Sprinkle a little table salt on each side of the eggplant slices and let them sit on paper towels for an hour, if possible (this gets a lot of the bitterness and excess moisture out). If you do not have time, you can skip this step. I have before and it is definitely not the end of the world, as opposed to bad shoes. Bad shoes are totes the end of the world.
Start with the marinara. In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic over medium-high heat with a little crushed red pepper (Depending on how “warm” you like your sauce) and olive oil until the veggies are tender and just starting to look translucent. Add the rest of the seasonings, red wine and tomatoes (in that order) and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it has reached a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and allow the sauce to simmer until you’re ready to eat. The red wine will cook down into that rich, Italian flavor that you know you love.
To prepare the “breading” for the eggplant, run the almonds through a food processor until they are at almost a “sand” consistency. Pour them into a shallow pan or dish and season thoroughly with salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning.
When you’re ready to start your eggplant, wipe the excess salt off each side and transfer them to an egg wash (2 eggs + Splash of water + Whisk real good = Egg Wash). Soak each side completely and move them to the almond mixture to get seasoning and “breading” all over.
Cook each side of the eggplant slices in a large skillet with about 3 tablespoons EVOO until just lightly browned on each side. Transfer them to a baking sheet and top with marinara and mozzarella (or your preferred cheese) and bake at 350 until the cheese is melty and delicious, about 10 minutes.
Serve excess marinara over some pasta and literally go to town.