Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and return to pan. Add parsley, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss.
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. Place flour in a shallow dish. Combine 1 teaspoon water and egg in another shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Combine panko, oregano, and Parmigiano-Reggiano in another shallow dish.
Dredge eggplant in flour, dip in egg mixture, and dredge in panko mixture, gently pressing mixture to adhere. Arrange on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. 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.
Heat marinara in microwave at HIGH for 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. 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.
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This dish was very good and it actually did come together in the ~ 25 minute time period. I think I sliced my eggplant thicker than 1/2 inch so the broiling time was longer than stated in the recipe and I wanted some browning on the panko crust. Even my meat loving husband said it was very tasty.
This was delicious, easy to make, light and fresh tasting. I didn't time it to see if it was 25 min. but I suspect with chopping, slicing, peeling and grating, it took a bit longer. No problem, though. The cooking times were right on for me, but I do recommend, depending on your oven, watching them the last minute of cooking on each side as they browned quickly, and the cheese melted away to nothing on some of them.They were tender, crisp and well-seasoned. I think that with some early prep, this would not be hard to make for company. I will certainly make it again.
I thought these were tasty but my family didn't seem as enthusiastic. I think I'd take a bit more time and bake the eggplant a bit before broiling to make them even crispier. They were just a bit chewy. I might make this again to see if that helps. If not, I'd probably take it out of my rotation.
Super easy, healthy, tasty recipe. I broiled mine a touch longer to get it browned and really crispy, but otherwise followed the recipe and it turned out perfect. Love that you can get that super crispy texture without frying. Served alongside whole wheat pasta with roasted asparagus and tomatoes. Will definitely make again and again...
Delicious! The coating+broiling keep the outside crunchy while the eggplant gets tender. I used farfalle instead of orzo (what I had on hand) and it worked great. The only thing I added was some grated romano cheese to sprinkle on top once everything was on the plate. The stripe-ing of the eggplant takes little effort and looks impressive, so that plus the flavor means I'd happily make this for company.