Memorial Day is right around the corner and that means a few things: gatherings with friends and family, the day off from work (yes!), travel (maybe), and food! It’s no doubt the food and gatherings go hand-in-hand because lets be honest…having loved ones and food around is pretty much great fun! Oh and cocktails are a PLUS!
For your upcoming Memorial Day fete how about some eggplant parmesan? How about a hand-held eggplant parmesan? That’s right. A deconstructed Italian classic and healthier too. The eggplant is not breaded and pan fried and the amount of cheese per serving is reduced because the serving is a finger-food size, rather than a gaping hole from a casserole dish.
I was struck with inspiration when I spotted the egg roll wrappers at the market. I didn’t want to create an Asian dish but rather a twist on a classic. So, the deconstructed eggplant parmesan emerged and It. Is. Good.
Nutritional perks –
Eggplant – Helps to lower cholesterol levels and contains numerous vitamins such as vitamin K, B6 and C. A good source of thiamin and folate and an excellent source of fiber.
Eggplant Parmesan [deconstructed]
– 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
– 16 egg roll wrappers
– 1 egg, beaten
– 2 Tbls extra virgin olive oil
– 16 whole milk petite mozzarella balls (1 ball per roll)
– 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
– 1 Tbls dried basil
– 1 Tbls sea salt for prepping the eggplant
– marinara sauce for dipping. I used an organic store-bought version, but you can find a homemade version here.
– sea salt and pepper to taste
Cover all eggplant rounds generously with the 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Place the rounds in a colander and place over a bowl to drain for 1 to 2 hours. After the draining period, rinse the rounds in cold water and squeeze dry.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cover a baking sheet in parchment paper, and place the rounds in an even layer on a baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to brush extra virgin olive oil on the rounds. Season with sea salt, pepper (to taste) and dried basil. Do this on both sides of the eggplant rounds. Bake for 20 minutes.
When the eggplant is cooled, cut it into cubes.
To assemble the deconstructed eggplant parmesan, lay one sheet of egg roll wrapper on a flat surface. Add 1 tablespoon of the roasted eggplant, top with a generous sprinkle of parmesan. Slice 1 mozzarella ball and gently place on top of the eggplant and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Fold over the short sides of the wrap and then gently roll over one long side. With the remaining long side still open, lightly brush the end with the egg wash. Fold over the remaining long side. The egg wash will act like the glue to seal the wrap.
With an oil mister filled with extra virgin olive oil or a non-stick cooking spray, spray a medium saute pan, which is placed over medium heat. Add two wraps at a time, seam-side-down. Brown on both sides. This should take about 4 to 5 minutes per side.