No, my weight has not dropped that much.  What is going skinny is my Eggplant Parmigiana, since I radically changed my recipe after stumbling on this post by Mike at The Iron You. Mike’s blog line is “Eat Well – Exercise More – Become a Healthier You”.  I can definitely sign below that. He knows how to match nutrition with a challenging exercise routine, and his posts are always super-fun to read.  Anyway, he started that particular article with a mild rant about the way most people approach this classic dish.  Reading it, I was forced to admit to being guilty of some of the crimes. Granted, I’ve never went to the extent of frying my eggplant slices, but I definitely used a heavy hand with the cheese and sauce. My version of eggplant parm made me leave the table feeling heavy and sluggish, a feeling I don’t care for at all. Mike proves that there’s no reason for it. Just a few tweaks and you will have a fantastic dish, still able to carry the label of comfort food, but considerably lighter than 99% of the recipes in restaurants, cookbooks, and the blogosphere.  I hope you will give this version a try, it will knock your socks off.  And, apparently in English that is a very good thing.


(very slightly modified from The Iron You)

3 medium eggplants
2 garlic cloves, peeled (I omitted due to our vampire genes)
1 29 oz / 820 gr can diced tomato
1 cup / 1.8 oz / 50 gr Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons almond milk (my adaptation)
1 medium shallot, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt, divided
black ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and lightly grease with some olive oil. Set aside.

Cut each eggplant lengthwise in 1/4 inch slices, liberally sprinkle with salt on one side, and add the slices back together, tightly assembling the eggplant and wrapping with plastic wrap.  Leave them over the counter for about 20 minutes. You will notice a darkish liquid forming inside the package. Open the package over the sink, and briefly rinse the slices, drying them with paper towels.

Arrange the eggplant slices on a single layer on the baking sheets. Bake in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes, until the slices begin to turn deep brown on top.  Remove the slices to a platter and allow them to cool slightly before proceeding.

In the meantime make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add shallots and garlic and saute’ for 5 minutes, until onion begins to golden. Add diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon of salt, basil, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside.

Lightly grease with 1 tablespoon of olive oil the bottom and sides of an 8 by 12-inch baking pan. (a brownie pan works perfectly). Beat two eggs with the almond milk and reserve. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with some tomato sauce and arrange eggplant slices on top to form a uniform layer. Cover the eggplant with some tomato sauce, some Parmigiano cheese and top with 2 tablespoons of beaten eggs . Repeat to make 3 layers, making sure to end with a uniform layer of tomato sauce and top with the remaining cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until hot and beginning to brown. Let rest at for 10 minutes before serving.


to print the recipe, click here

And now it’s time for me to brag a little… Many years ago, I sent a cooking tip to Fine Cooking magazine, and my tip won the best of the issue!  I got several cool gifts, including a salad spinner I still own, and love.  It was a nice surprise to win.  The cooking tip I submitted was what I just shared here with you, the way I draw the bitter juices out of eggplant. Most instructions involve salting the slices and weighing them down, or submerging them in salted water.  I find my method very convenient, and quite efficient.  It is explained in detail in the recipe, in case you missed it. The secret is to tighten the package of plastic well around the eggplant.


I cut the eggplant lengthwise, and when assembling the dish,  each layer goes in one orientation, so that they criss-cross. That makes slicing the casserole a lot easier later.  Also, since the beaten eggs are a little hard to spread over the layers, I added a touch of almond milk to thin it, a la egg wash.  You can omit it, or use milk or even water if you prefer, but don’t add too much, just enough to make it easier to spread.

It was so much fun to make this dish, that I feel like sharing a couple of shots of the process…

firstlayerHere is the first layer ready, just a little cheese and a little beaten egg on top of the eggplant…

LayersReadyAnd the dish, ready to go into the oven… make sure to bake it over a larger baking sheet to avoid messing up your oven.

It is very important to let the dish rest for at least 10  minutes, but longer will be better. Next day, leftovers were perfect warmed up for a few minutes in the microwave.  In fact it tasted even better than the first day, so if you have a dinner party to host, this could be a nice option to make in advance.  It is also gluten-free, in case you have friends with gluten issues.


We loved this preparation so much,  there is no way I’m going back to my former recipe!  I also think that if you cut the eggplant parmigiana in small squares they could work well as appetizers for a dinner party.  Substantial for an appetizer course, but so very delicious!  You would definitely have to cut it the following day, because  when it comes out of the oven it will be too tricky to do it.

Mike, thanks again for the wonderful take on one of our favorite eggplant preparations!


ONE YEAR AGO: Supernova Meets Wok

TWO YEARS AGO500 Posts and The Best Thing I ever made

THREE YEARS AGO: Back in Los Angeles

FOUR YEARS AGO: White House Macaroni and Cheese

FIVE YEARS AGO: Korean-Style Pork with Asian Slaw



  1. Thinking of you winging around the world being all scientific before seeing your mother. 🙂 I hope you’re having a terrific time.

    While you’re gone I’m going to have this gorgeous eggplant parmigiana!


  2. I too hope you’re having a wonderful trip, and I thank you again for all these years of wonderful writing, terrific recipes, and a glimpse inside your life. I’m intrigued about your beloved salad spinner and hope you have time when you return to tell us the brand. Maybe a photo, too? I’m am salad-spinner-less at the moment, living in a rental house until our new place is finished, and my spinner is in storage. I am about ready to break down and buy one to tide me over until I get my stuff back! But it’s got to be a good one. There are so many useless salad spinners out there, and sometimes you can’t tell from just looking how they will perform.


  3. I love a slimmed down recipe! Eggplant parm is my absolute favorite. I too, would not fry my eggplant. This is no way looks like a “skinny” recipe, so beautifully thick and melting with cheese. I’m truly craving it now!


    • This was a fantastic dish, in fact just answering the comments and looking at the pictures makes me want to have a piece right now…. but we are both a bit tired from our trip, it will be a grilled steak instead, and a salad. Easy easy easy….


  4. I CANNOT WAIT TO MAKE THIS!!!!! I’m not usually an all caps person – seems like yelling to me, but this time it’s pure excitement. This is one of my favorite Italian dishes, but I rarely have it because it is so indulgent. You have made my day Sally!!!!! Seriously, I can’t wait. This will be made immediately after Thanksgiving.🙂


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