Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan
When making the balsamella sauce in Step three, the flour-and-butter mixture will seem very dry until you add the milk; then it will become creamy and smooth.
- 6 small eggplants, (about 8 to 10 ounces each)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups Tomato Sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons medium-chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Olive-oil cooking spray
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake eggplants until slightly softened, about 15 minutes. Transfer eggplants to a clean surface. Slice off 1/4 of each eggplant lengthwise, and reserve the pieces. Hollow out eggplants, leaving about 1/4 inch of flesh attached to the skin. Reserve the flesh. Cut removed pieces and flesh of the eggplants into 1/4-inch dice; set aside.
Spray a nonstick skillet with olive-oil spray, and place over medium heat. Stir in the diced eggplant, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and pepper. Cover, and cook the eggplant until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce and parsley, and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Fill the reserved hollowed eggplants with eggplant filling brimming over the top slightly, and place in a baking pan large enough to comfortably hold the eggplants. Bake for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the balsamella sauce: Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour until all the butter has been absorbed, and cook 2 minutes. Slowly pour in 1/4 cup milk, while briskly whisking. Briskly whisk in the remaining 1 1/4 cups milk, 1/4 cup at a time, until all the milk has been added and the sauce is smooth and creamy. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and nutmeg. Cook until the sauce has thickened to the consistency of pancake batter, 4 to 5 minutes.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons balsamella sauce over the top of each filled eggplant, and sprinkle tops with Parmesan. Bake until tops are golden and eggplants are heated through, about 20 minutes.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, March 1997