Last week one of my clients brought me some eggplant from her family’s garden and of course, what else do you do with eggplant other than make eggplant parm? (Seriously though… what do you do with it?)
Only problem was, I’ve never made eggplant parm, so I did a little research, ran to the grocery store, channeled my inner Italian grandma and rolled up my sleeves.
Most eggplant parm is fried first and the recipess call for loads of oil. Since nothing gets fried in my kitchen, I got around that by breading and baking it. And, I found out if you salt the eggplant beforehand and let some of the moisture out, it won’t turn out mushy.
I also made it a little healthier by using whole grain breadcrumbs and decreased the ridiculous amounts of cheese called for in most recipes.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
2 eggplants (about 2 lbs)
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced garlic
1 28-oz can peeled crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 1/2 cups whole grain breadcrumbs
3/4 cups grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3/4 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten
1 pounds fresh mozzarella, sliced
1. Slice eggplant into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thick rounds and arrange the on an oven rack. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant rounds lightly with salt. Let the eggplant rounds sit and release moisture for 1-2 hours.
2 Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and gently sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes (not drained). Bring to a simmer, and then continue to cook on low for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil.
3 Get three medium bowls and place flour in first, beaten eggs in the second, and combine breadcrumbs with 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese in the third.
4 Preheat the oven to 425°F and spray two baking sheet pans with nonstick coating. Pat dry the eggplant slices with a towel, then place each eggplant round first in flour, then eggs, then breadcrumb mixture and place on baking pan.
Bake the breaded eggplant for 10 minutes, flip each slice and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees.
5 Spread 1/3 cup of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 9×13-inch casserole dish. Place half of the eggplant rounds in a single layer covering the sauce on the bottom of the pan.
Layer half of the sliced mozzarella on top of the eggplant rounds. Sprinkle 1/2 of the remaining Parmesan cheese. Top with another 1/3 of the tomato sauce, then repeat. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting into to serve.
Original recipe idea from: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/eggplant_parmesan/#ixzz3EQoBpvGW