Jamie says: To switch things up, I shopped for my produce at Ward’s, a local grocery store. The store has some interesting produce that is difficult to find elsewhere. For example, they have jicama, escarole, and a type of eggplant that I’ve never even seen or heard of- Japanese eggplant. Try experimenting with a new fruit or vegetable this week. You never know, it might become a new favorite.
Japanese Eggplant & Veggie Cheese Bake
- 2 Japanese eggplants (thin eggplant)
- 1 leek
- 3 Tbsp Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp basil
- 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1/4 cup Ian’s panko Italian style breadcrumbs
- 1 red bell pepper
- 6 oz Polly-o part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Wash eggplant and leek. Cut eggplant and leek into slices about 1/4 inch thick. Put in a 13 x 9 inch glass baking dish. Add olive oil, freshly ground pepper, sea salt, basil, parsley, oregano, and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Bake for about 20 minutes.
- Wash bell pepper. Cut into strips about 1/4 inch thick. Add to top of cooked veggies. Increase oven temperature to 400°F, and return dish to the oven. Cook for about 10 minutes more.
- Slice cheese into thin strips. Place on top of bell peppers and cook for an additional 7 minutes or until veggies are cooked. Serves: ~4. Enjoy!
Wow! So good! The Japanese eggplant is smaller in diameter, which is perfect for this dish. This is one of my favorite ways to cook eggplant now.
- Nutrition note: Red bell peppers are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C has been proven to reduce the duration and severity of colds.