I had a request for a recipe for Eggplant Parmigiana, so here it is…
(Click on photos to enlarge)
Eggplant Parmigiana is a labor of love.
If you fry the eggplants like I do, it can take a long time and is a little back breaking. But once you have your first bite of parmigiana, it is all worth it.
While frying the eggplant, the smell and the crunchy eggplant are hard to resist. I have been known to take a few cutlets and sprinkle them with grated cheese for a little snack while cooking.
And I always keep a few cutlets on the side to be enjoyed on ciabatta bread for lunch the next day with broccoli rabe sauteed in garlic and olive oil.
With sauce and cheese or without, enjoy your eggplant!
I usually serve my Eggplant Parmigiana with a side of pasta.
2 medium size eggplants or 4 smaller eggplants
6 eggs, lightly beaten
Flour for dredging
Italian flavored breadcrumbs or homemade breadcrumbs
Grated Locatelli cheese (you can also use Parmesan)
Salt and pepper
¾ lb. shredded mozzarella or thinly sliced fresh mozzarella
Pot of cooked tomato sauce – 2 quarts or more – (hopefully homemade)
Olive oil for frying
Fresh chopped basil to add to each layer (optional)
Slice the eggplants into ¼ inch rounds.
Set up a breading station.
Set out a plate of flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
Place the beaten eggs in a shallow bowl with a rim. Add a little water to thin out the egg.
Blend grated cheese into the bread crumbs and add dried oregano.
Once my breading station is set up, then I preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
Lightly flour the eggplant slices, shaking off any excess. Dip into the eggs, then into the breadcrumbs. Set aside on a cookie sheet. Be careful not to overcrowd the cutlets on the cookie sheet; the breading could fall off the cutlet.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the eggplant in batches, turning them when the edges get brown. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a paper lined cookie sheet.
Change the oil in the skillet when it starts to get black from all the cooked breadcrumbs that fall off. You don’t want that burnt taste on your eggplant slices.
Start to layer the ingredients in a 9 X 15 X 2 baking dish.
Begin by spreading some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
Add an overlapping layer of eggplant.
Follow with more sauce, grated cheese and some mozzarella.
(If using, add the chopped fresh basil now)
Add another layer of eggplant and continue the same layering.
End with a layer of sauce and mozzarella.
Cover the dish with foil (not too tight otherwise the cheese will stick to the aluminum foil) and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes until the cheese starts to brown.
For extra crispiness, 1-2 minutes under the broiler. Watch this carefully so it doesn’t burn.
If you want to get a little fancier….
You can add a ricotta mixture to the layers. This is optional…
1 medium container of whole milk ricotta, drained
Dash of nutmeg
2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper
Mix ricotta, nutmeg, Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and beaten egg in a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
Spread a few dollops on top of the mozzarella in the layering stage.
Until next time post,
Stay well and make every day a celebration!
Watch for new tablescapes posts coming soon to DishingwithDiane.com