Hope all is well…… Here in the Northeast the weather is getting a little cooler and we are trying to hold on to the Summer as much as we can while Fall creeps in so we are trying to continue with our “Summer activities” and still go to the farm stands and outdoor markets as much as we can.
Bob and I went to a farm stand last weekend for some fresh vegetables pretending in our head that is was still July and not October and I found the most wonderful eggplants. (sorry I cut the eggplant before I took a picture).
I also found great zucchini, & tomatoes but as soon as I saw the nice shiny eggplants, I knew I wanted to make eggplant meatballs. I think I posted this recipe many years ago but it was time to re-post.
Along with the meatballs will be the tried and true eggplant parmigiana but this time instead of the traditional fry, I am baking the eggplant slices for an updated version.
Sometimes standing and frying a lot of eggplant slices at once is back breaking so I decided to try the baked version to make life a little easier.
(Here is the link to the traditional recipe for frying — https://dishingwithdiane.com/2015/08/22/eggplant-parmigiana/
So let’s get started on the updated recipe…..
Baked Eggplant Parmigiana
- Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
- 2 large eggplants -sliced to ½ inch rounds
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups of Italian seasoned or plain panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup of finely grated Pecorino Romano (Locatelli) cheese
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil or ¼ cup fresh
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 49 oz of fresh marinara sauce or store-bought jarred sauce
- 1-1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
- Cooking spray (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees…. Brush 2 baking sheets with extra virgin olive oil: set aside.
Set up a breading station …. In a bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tbsp. of water to thin it out.
In a second bowl – combine breadcrumbs, ¼ cup grated cheese, salt and pepper, basil and oregano.
Dip the eggplant rounds in the egg mixture, letting the excess drip off, then dredge in the breadcrumb mixture (pressing crumbs down with fingers if needed to cover evenly).
Place on the baking sheets…. Bake until golden on the bottom, 10-20 minutes. Then carefully flip each slice and continue baking until golden on the other side, an additional 10-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
In a 9 X 13 baking dish, spread just enough marinara sauce to cover the bottom of the dish. Arrange a layer of eggplant in the dish, cover with sauce and sprinkle with grated cheese, then layer shredded mozzarella cheese. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, grated cheese and top with mozzarella.
Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the mozzarella is melted, 15- 30 minutes. (Optional — broil for 2 minutes to get the cheese a little golden, but watch carefully because it can burn easily).
Let it stand for 5 minutes before serving.
I chose to make my eggplant parmigiana in an individual serving dish for this meal ….
I hope you try the baked version of eggplant parmigiana and enjoy every bite.
Now on to the next recipe …. Eggplant meatballs (updated version)
I served this with farfalle pasta (another favorite of mine).
(recipe courtesy of by Lynette Marie by way of Allrecipes – 2016)
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 cups cubed eggplant, with peel (I peeled the eggplant)
- 1 tbsp. water
- ½ cup grated cheese (recipe called for Parmesan, I used Locatelli)
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (recipe called for 1 cup)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ¾ cup dried bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet (I used a silicon mat, parchment paper can also be used).
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Pour in olive oil and sauté garlic just until lightly browned.
Mix in the eggplant and water. Reduce heat to low and cover skillet. Allow eggplant to steam until soft, about 20 minutes.
Place steamed eggplant in a large bowl to cool.
Mix the cheese, parsley, eggs and bread crumbs into the eggplant. Stir with a wooden spoon or your hands until ingredients are thoroughly combined and mixture can be rolled into balls. Add more bread crumbs as needed to make the mixture workable.
Refrigerate mixture for 15 minutes, then roll into balls or form into patties.
Place eggplant balls on prepared baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.
I add the cooked eggplant balls to remaining sauce and then serve immediately.
I hope you give both of these recipes a try and please let me know what you think of them.
Until my next post, make every day a celebration!
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