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Beefy Eggplant Parmigiana

I developed this recipe one summer when my husband grew eggplant in the garden. I was thrilled when it won high honors at a national beef contest. —Celeste Copper, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Total Time
    Prep: 50 + simmering Bake: 35 min. + standing
  • Makes
    8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 medium eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • Additional canola oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • Minced fresh parsley

Directions

  • In a large saucepan, saute onion, celery and garlic powder in oil until tender. Stir in the tomatoes, water, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 hour. Discard bay leaf.
  • In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking it into crumbles; drain and set aside. In a shallow dish, combine flour and remaining salt and pepper. Place buttermilk in another shallow dish. Dip eggplant in buttermilk, then in flour mixture.
  • In a large skillet, cook eggplant in batches in 1/2 in. of hot oil until golden brown on each side; drain.
  • Place half the eggplant in a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Top with half the Parmesan cheese, beef and tomato mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining eggplant, Parmesan cheese, beef and tomato mixture.
  • Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 5-10 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with parsley.
Nutrition Facts
1 cup: 498 calories, 33g fat (8g saturated fat), 58mg cholesterol, 841mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 2g fiber), 22g protein.

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