1½ cups finely chopped tomatoes (or jar of crushed fire-roasted tomatoes)
1⁄3 cup fresh basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large egg
1 tablespoon water
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup grated Parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (about 2 ounces), divided
2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound)
1½ cups shredded regular or part-skim mozzarella (about 6 ounces)
1 cup sliced rapini (broccoli rabe)
Fresh basil for garnish
A jumbo-size muffin tin
1. Preheat oven to 375° f and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. To make tomato sauce: In a blender or food processor, purée the tomatoes, basil leaves, minced garlic, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes and salt to taste; set aside.
3. In a small bowl, lightly beat the egg with the water. In a shallow container, combine the panko breadcrumbs, oregano and ¼ cup of the Parmesan or Parmigiano-reggiano, and season with salt and pepper. Slice the eggplants into 18 rounds, ¼-inch thick. If needed, trim the rounds so the slices fit into the jumbo muffin cups. One at a time, dip the eggplant rounds into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere.
4. Place the eggplant on the baking sheet and bake until golden, about 30 minutes, flipping the slices and rotating the baking sheet after 15 minutes.
5. To assemble, place a slice of toasted eggplant in each of 6 jumbo muffin cups. Top each with about 1½ tablespoons of the tomato sauce and 1½ tablespoons of the mozzarella. Top with a sprinkle of the rapini. repeat layers until cup is full, then top with remaining Parmesan or Parmigiano-reggiano. bake until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before unmolding. Serve garnished with fresh basil.
SERVES 6. Per serving (1 piece): 200 calories, 8.5 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 15 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 517 mg sodium