Japanese eggplants are thinner and longer than the globe eggplants found in most grocery stores. Look for this variety at an Asian market if your supermarket does not carry it; substitute two (one-pound) globe eggplants if the Asian variety is not available. One serving of this Italian classic constitutes about two cups of Nunes's vegetable allotment--most of her vegetables for the day.
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 (14.5-ounce) cans no salt-added whole tomatoes, undrained and coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 Japanese eggplants, cut in half lengthwise (about 2 pounds)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
How to Make It
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring occasionally. Add oregano, red pepper, and tomatoes; simmer 5 minutes or until thick. Add salt and black pepper; keep warm.
Place eggplant halves, cut sides up, in bottom of a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Brush evenly with remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Broil 5 minutes or until slightly browned and tender. Spoon 1/2 cup tomato mixture over each eggplant half; top each half with 1 tablespoon cheese and about 2 teaspoons breadcrumbs. Broil 5 minutes or until cheese is browned.
I enjoyed this. It is very fresh tasting. The only thing you have to be careful of is baking the eggplant enough. The first time I took them out too early and the skin was tough and did not taste pleasant. Make sure the skin is very tender before you take it out!
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