Eggplant Parmesan is a dish that is sure to please both vegetarians and meat-eaters. We bake ours for a healthier meal but this recipe will easily stand up to the fryer. The breadcrumbs form a wonderful crust around the tender eggplant that is then topped with melted cheese and tomato sauce; my mouth is watering as I write this!
This dish is perfect for entertaining guests because you can do the prep work in advance and store the breaded eggplant in the fridge until you are ready. Leftovers are great as is or can be re-imagined as a sandwich. Just layer the eggplant, cheese tomato sauce and pesto on a baguette and toast it in the oven for a delicious lunch the next day.
Makes 5-6 servings
1 large eggplant, skin removed
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon italian spices
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper
½ cup tomato sauce, homemade preferred
8 oz. of mozzarella cheese, sliced
¼ cup shaved parmesan cheese
Slice the eggplant into ½ inch slices. Sweat the eggplant by sprinkling it with sea salt and placing the slices between two towels with a large cutting board on top. This will remove excess water, which will keep the eggplant from becoming soggy. This technique also works for zucchini and yellow squash.
While the eggplant is sweating prepare your dredge. In one bowl whisk together the milk and egg; in a second bowl mix the breadcrumbs, Italian spices, garlic powder and onion flakes.
Pre heat the oven to 350° F
By this time the eggplant should be ready to bread. Dip a slice in the egg mixture and be sure to flip it a couple times to ensure it is completely covered. Then move it to the breadcrumbs. Cover the eggplant in breadcrumbs and be sure to pat down the breadcrumbs to make sure they stick to the eggplant. Placed breaded eggplant on a plate and repeat with the remaining slices.
Place the eggplant on an oiled baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Remove from the oven and top each eggplant with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese then return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
Top the finished eggplant with tomato sauce and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with spaghetti marinara or your favorite type of pasta.