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This classic dish includes lightly breaded eggplant, my homemade tomato sauce "shortcut" and lots of cheese. Making it perfect for a comfort meal fix or your contribution to holiday dinner parties.
To know me is to know that I spent 8 years of my life as a pescetarian prior to college. I had no real reason to change my lifestyle but it was fun and I treated myself to lamb once a quarter. One thing is for sure, I knew all of my favorite options at all of my favorite restaurants. Making eggplant parmesan my go-to at Italian restaurants. There’s something about the crispy eggplant covered in sauce and sometimes an unhealthy amount of parmesan cheese. I say that only because I am a #tummygirl.
On to the recipe, it’s very simple! We start by removing as much of the excess liquid in the eggplant as possible. I like to line a baking sheet with paper towel, lay out the slices of eggplant, salt both sides evenly, cover the eggplant with more paper towel and place a casserole dish on top of the eggplant. Do this for 45 minutes. Next, we layer a casserole dish with homemade or jarred tomato sauce. You can try my oven-roasted tomato sauce below. Add a layer of cheese and continue the steps until your dish is topped with cheese and ready to bake in the oven. This dish will make 4 servings. Perfect for a dinner party of 4 or dinner with leftovers for 2.
What You Need:
1 large Eggplant, cut into ⅓ inch slices. I like to keep mine unpeeled but you can peel if you’d like.
⅓ cup of Unbleached Flour
⅓ cup of Grapeseed Oil, for frying the eggplant
Kosher Salt, to taste
1 cup of Panko Breadcrumbs
½ tsp of Kosher Salt
⅓ tsp of Black Pepper
½ tsp of Dried Basil
½ tsp of Dried Oregano
¾ cup of Grated Parmesan
1½ cups of Marinara Sauce
8oz of Mozzarella Cheese, freshly grated
Fresh Basil, to garnish
Note: If you don’t have breadcrumbs on hand, you can toast 4 slices of bread and use your food processor to pulse it into crumbs add Italian seasoning and granulated garlic to make Italian bread crumbs! Don’t pulse for too long or you’ll make flour.
What to Do:
Slice your eggplant into ⅓ slices and lay them on a paper towel-line baking sheet.
Cover evenly and on both sides with salt and cover with more paper towel. Place a casserole dish on top of the covered eggplant slices and allow them to sit for up to 45 minutes. This will remove the excess liquid from the veggie.
Set up your dredge station for frying the eggplant. One plate for flour (be sure to add salt and pepper), another plate for the seasoned breadcrumbs, and a large shallow bowl for the cracked eggs.
Heat up the oil in a cast iron or frying pan while preparing the eggplant for frying.
Dredge your eggplant in flour, eggs, and breadcrumbs before placing them in the hot oil. You can add a tablespoon or two of parmesan cheese into the breadcrumbs.
Fry eggplant for 3 minutes or until golden brown on both sides. Continue until all eggplant has been fried.
Once the eggplant is finished, preheat your oven for 400F.
Line a lightly sprayed casserole dish with marinara sauce and add one layer or fried eggplant slices.
Cover those slices with a few dollops of sauce, cheese, and the remaining fried eggplant.
Cover the remainder with more sauce, cheese, and fresh basil or parsley.
Bake in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until the cheese is nice and bubbly.
Top with grated parmesan cheese, fresh basil, and tag @elle.thefoodie in your pics! Be sure to serve warm.