I like to be honest with you guys therefore I'm going to admit that our first attempt at this skinny eggplant parmesan recipe didn't turn out so well. All of a sudden, it's getting dark at 7:30 instead of 9:30 – what's that about? We underestimated the prep time, cook time, and sunset time, making for a perfect storm of recipe failure. Don't get me wrong, the dish itself was delicious and beautiful… we just didn't have the chance to take pictures of it.
And what's a recipe without photos, right? I can talk all I want about a dish. I can tell you that it's rich and satisfying. That the creamy, smoky eggplant is just the beginning of this dish and that it's only after the eggplant has been smothered in caramelized vegetables and juicy tomatoes that the magic happens. And I can tell you that the hunks of chèvre are the tangy, mouthwatering "cherries on top," nestled in amongst the layers. All of this business is clocking in at under 250 calories per serving.
But let's be honest, the words take a backseat to the photos, don't they?
I think the pictures speak for themselves. The bright tomatoes, the browned goat cheese, and the charred sprigs of thyme – it says that a lot of thought and care was put into this meal. Sure, it requires a little more time than most of our recipes but the prep and effort is minimal because it's mostly just bake time. You can let it cook while you do laundry or talk to your mom on the phone or watch a Halloween movie. Then assemble, bake some more, and enjoy – and obviously, share.
After eating this dish, we decided that whoever did eggplant parmesan for the first time made one very big mistake: they used parmesan and mozzarella instead of chèvre. I say this in hopes that the dear, long-deceased Italian "mamma" who first made parmigiana won't haunt my dreams tonight.
The fact of the matter is that goat cheese adds so much more flavor and depth to this dish. Instead of melting and smothering the other ingredients, it adds a bright tang that cuts through the already rich flavors, surprising your mouth in each bite.