Eggplant Pesto Bake

 

IMG_3311

I found two nice Eggplants in my garden today so that’s what’s for dinner tonight.  In our house there is nothing as good as eggplant Parm, but there is also nothing more fattening.  So in a spirit of a healthier version I made up this recipe.  I pre-baked all the vegetables separately so I could coax the best flavor from each. I left out tomatoes sauce because it has too much sugar and I greatly reduced the cheese.  Since I was not frying the eggplant I added a few sliced potatoes for structure and Pesto to get a big flavor.

 

2 big eggplants sliced into ½ inch rounds

3 medium Yukon gold potatoes sliced very thinly with the skins on

4 tomatoes sliced

2 large yellow onions sliced thinly and caramelized (recipe follows)

1 cup of basil pesto

2/3 cup of mozzarella and Parmesan – any proportions you want

 

Make the caramelized onions.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line a couple of jellyroll pans with foil and spray with pam.  Put a cooling rack on one pan and layer the eggplant on the rack.  Spray with Pam and place in oven and cook until the eggplant is browned, about 30 minutes.  On another pan layer the tomatoes and spray with Pam, salt and pepper and place them in the oven, cook until the water cooks out of the tomatoes, about 30 minutes.  On a third pan layer the potatoes and spray them with Pam, salt and pepper and place in the oven, cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

 

Once you have cooked all the parts spray an oblong shallow pan with pam.  Place a layer of half the potatoes down, followed by all the caramelized onions, and half the Pesto.  Place a layer of half the eggplant, and start again with the potatoes, pesto, eggplant and end with the tomatoes.  Sprinkle cheese on top and place the whole thing back in the oven and bake about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted.  Good served hot or at room temp.

 

Caramelized Onions – master recipe

 

Caramelized onions are one of the truly great low calorie foods.  I make big pans of them and then divide them up into smaller portions and freeze them.

 

They can be used to top a turkey burger that is just a little bland, or put in a sandwich to add some depth of flavor.  Added to tomato soup, even canned, they will make your mouth so happy.

 

They are easy to make, but still take a little time.  Always cut more onions than you think you will need they cook down to less than ¼ their original volume.

 

Sweet onions

Pam

Sugar

Salt

 

 

Slice onions.  Spray Pam in a large frying pan and put onions in it.  Place on medium low heat on stove.  Cook low and slow, stirring every so often. After about 20 minutes the onions should start to get golden brown.  Don’t try and get there faster by making the heat higher.  The low and slow develops the onions natural sugar.  When they get to the color in the picture sprinkle a tiny amount of sugar on top and stir.  Continue cooking about 5 more minutes until they get brown.  Putting the sugar on too soon will make them burn.  Salt to taste when done.

 

Use them on everything.  I love them in salads, mixed in eggs or in a grilled cheese, but that’s not very figure friendly.


One Comment on “Eggplant Pesto Bake”

  1. Frances Dowell says:

    I had no idea you could freeze caramalized onions! I’m going to get me a freezer full. Thank you!


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