Ok… Maybe this post title is a little dramatic, but I promise you I’m not kidding around. Tonight was my first time making eggplant parmesan, and it definitely won’t be my last. I was honestly shocked by how easy this was to make and how quickly it all came together. It looks like a lot of steps, but don’t be intimidated – it’s simple!
I adapted this recipe from Table for Two and subbed whole wheat Italian seasoned bread crumbs for regular, fresh mozzarella for shredded mozz, and (store-bought) organic tomato basil pasta sauce for marinara. Feast your eyes on this…
In conclusion… Go make this right now! You won’t regret it 😀
1 large eggplant, sliced into ½” thick slices
2 tbsp kosher salt
1½ cup whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
½ cup milk
4 tbsp vegetable oil, for lightly pan-frying
3 cups marinara sauce [I used store-bought tomato basil sauce]
2 cups fresh mozzarella, sliced
1 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
Handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped, for garnish
1. Salt both sides of your eggplant slices and place them in a large colander in the sink. Let the liquid drain for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
2. When your eggplant slices have finished draining liquid, brush off the excess salt, as you don’t want it to be too salty!
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Add breadcrumbs to one bowl and whisk eggs and milk in another.
5. Dip both sides of eggplant slice into milk/egg mixture then cover with breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess. Place on plate or large baking sheet and repeat until all eggplant slices have been coated.
6. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil into the skillet.
7. Once the skillet is hot, add two eggplant slices at a time to the skillet and cook on both sides until golden brown, remove and set on a large plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil for every 2 eggplant slices.
8. In a large casserole dish, add 1 cup of sauce to the bottom of the casserole dish.
9. Add a layer of eggplant slices, then dollop marinara sauce on top of the eggplant slices. The idea isn’t to smother the layers with sauce.
10. On top of the eggplant slices, place a slice of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers until you run out of eggplants slices.
11. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and brown on top. I used the broiler for 5 minutes to get the cheese nice and brown – you don’t have to, but if you do, watch it carefully!
12. Serve hot and top with chopped basil, if using.
I repeat: go make this now! And enjoy!!