Eggplant Romano

Yep, I’m really funny, hmmm?  Romano rather than Parmesan?  Actually, there were no chunks of Parmesan available when I went to the store, but Romano was there in all of its glory.  So, there you go. 
Anyway, this is my lower-carb version of eggplant Parmesan.  Instead of breading the eggplant, I quarter or slice it (in this case I actually sliced them into eighths), and roast at a high temperature, anywhere between 400 degrees.  I do brush the pieces with olive oil, and there is some oil in the marinara, so it’s not really low-fat, but it is good.  I usually sprinkle on a bit of Italian panko for a little crunch, but my attention was elsewhere and the pan went to the oven sans breadcrumbs.  I didn’t have any marinara frozen, so while the eggplant was roasting, I made a batch.  I like a lot of sauce, probably more than most people, so adjust the amount according to your tastes.
If you want to salt your eggplant before, by all means go ahead, but I really like the “bite” and since I was not making this for a potluck or family dinner, I just made it according to my taste.  If I were making this to share, I would have salted the eggplant.  If you are unfamiliar with eggplant or you are unsure of how to salt it, this is an excellent explanation and how-to.

Eggplant Romano Printable recipe
3 medium eggplants
1 cup Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 cup Italian flavored panko
Olive oil
3-5 cups marinara sauce (or more)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Peel eggplants and slice into quarters or eighths.
Sprinkle with salt, if desired, and allow to sit for 30-60 minutes.  Rinse well and squeeze out liquid before using.
Spray a large baking pan with cooking spray.
Place eggplant on pan and brush with olive oil
Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes
Remove from oven and brush with olive oil, again
Return to oven for 15-30 minutes, or until deeply caramelized
Remove eggplant from oven
Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees
Ladle 1-2 cups of marinara into a large casserole dish
Lay eggplant eighths on top of sauce
Ladle on 2-3 cups of marinara on top of eggplant
Sprinkle on cheese and breadcrumbs
Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are toasted
Enjoy!

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