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Grilled Eggplant Parmigiano

I am proud of my wife. She has been losing weight and staying on a strict diet. On our recent vacation, she decide to splurge and order her favorite eggplant parmigiana. What she was served was a greasy dish of sauce and cheese over a tiny piece of eggplant. This is my version of a healthier version featuring grilled eggplant instead of fried.
1 medium size eggplant
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small sweet onion diced
1 clove garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano seasoning
1/4 cup coarse chopped basil plus a few leaves for topping
3 medium to large tomatoes diced
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for topping

Preheat you grill to about 375 to 400 degrees.

Begin by preparing the eggplant. Peel and cut the eggplant in 1/2 inch thick pieces. Lay the pieces out flat on a paper towel and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let stand for 15 minutes, then turn the slices over and repeat the process. This will help remove the bitterness from the eggplant. After another 15 minutes, rinse the slices and pat dry. Brush the slices on both sides with olive oil, sprinkle with oregano, and place them on the grill. Grill about 7 to 8 minutes then turn over and grill again for 7 to 8 minutes. Slices should have nice grill marks and be somewhat translucent. Remove from heat.

In a skillet, add 1 teaspoon olive oil and heat pan for several minutes on medium low heat. Add the onion, two tomatoes, garlic, 1/4 cup of cheese, and basil. Heat until the tomatoes are hot and the mixture is fragrant, and the tomatoes start to break down. Just before serving, add the last tomato  long enough to get warm. Plate the slices and top with tomato mixture, then cover with cheese. Add a leaf or two of basil for a nice looking finish.

Note: if you are not an eggplant fan, the sauce makes a great burger topping.


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