Main dish

Eggplant Parmesan

 

Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is the vegetarian version of Chicken Parmesan. Layered with crispy breaded eggplant slices, smothered with a homemade marinara sauce and topped with freshly cut mozzarella cheese. This eggplant Parmesan is going to become another one of your family's favorite go-to comfort food.

Equipment

  • Heavy bottom saucepan
  • Rolling Pin
  • Casserole dish
  • Oven
  • Pan

Ingredients
  

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 3/4 cup of Panko crumbs
  • 3/4 cup of Seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour to that 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Mozzarella cheese 6-8 thin slices
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil as needed
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped basil for the top

Marinera Sauce

  • 1/4 onion, small dice
  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups of tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp of fresh basil, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp of oregano
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • If you are not a fan of the eggplant skin, you can peel the skin off. Cut your eggplant into 1/2 in or about 1 cm circles.
  • Lay the eggplant onto a sheet pan with paper towels on it. Lightly salt them with kosher salt and let stand for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. Once you notice the eggplant releasing most of its juices, use a paper towel to pat it dry.
  • In a heavy bottom sauce pan on a low to medium heat, add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil.
  • Add your onion into the saucepan and cook it halfway. Then add in your garlic. Once translucent add your tomato sauce.
  • Since you will have leftover tomato sauce in the jar, you can add 3/4 cup of water and shake it up and pour that mixture into the saucepan.
  • Cook the marinara sauce for 15 to 20 minutes with a lid on top and constantly mix it.
  • Take the sauce off the heat and add in your basil, oregano and salt/pepper to taste.
  • Assemble your standard breading procedure. In the first bowl, add your sifted flour and 1/4 tsp of salt and mix. In your second bowl add 4 eggs, lightly beat them and season with salt and pepper. Finally, in the third bowl add your panko crumbs, seasoned Italian crumbs, Parmesan cheese and mix.
  • Set up the station starting with eggplants, flour, eggs and then the panko bread crumb mixture.
  • Dip your eggplant starting with the flour, then the egg, to the panko crumbs, back into the eggs and end with panko crumbs again. Place the crusted eggplants onto the parchment paper. Repeat steps until finished with all.
  • Place another parchment paper on top of the eggplants and use a rolling pin to roll lightly over them. This will ensure that the crumbs will be intact and not fall apart when frying.
  • Bring a pan to a low to medium heat and add enough oil to coat the pan. Fry your eggplants until golden brown on each side. Drain on a paper towel to get excess oil off.
  • In a casserole dish or any bakeable dish, add some oil and use a pastry brush to coat the dish.
  • To assemble, start with your sauce then place your eggplant and top with mozzarella cheese. You can also add Parmesan cheese if you’d like. Repeat the process.
  • Bake at 400 F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese has melted. Garnish with freshly chopped basil and serve immediately.
  • Enjoy!!

Video

Notes

Can I peel the eggplant skin off?
Yes you can, usually the bigger the eggplant, it may have a harder skin. Its your preference. 
Why do I salt the eggplant slices and let them rest for 30 minutes to 1 hour?
Salting you're eggplant and letting it rest for 30 minutes to and hour will remove bitterness and excess liquid from your eggplant. Also salt helps keep your eggplants color, rather than turning brown.
What does the marinara sauce consist of?
Marinara sauce consists of onions, garlic, tomato sauce, water, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
Why do I add water to the Jar and to the sauce? 
Adding water to the jar helps get all of the leftover tomato sauce in the jar. Also adding water into the sauce helps the sauce thicken and allows to simmer slowly to bring all the flavors together.
What is a breading procedure?
A breading procedure is basically flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate bowls.
Why do I double bread the eggplant?
Double breading the eggplant makes it more crunchier.
Why do I use a rolling pin to roll over the breaded eggplant?
Using a rolling pin helps keeps the breading on the eggplant.
What heat should I fry the eggplants at?
Low to medium heat, you don't want them to burn.
How do I know when the eggplants are ready to take out of the pan?
When both sides have a golden color.
Why to add enough oil to coat the pan?
This helps to get even browning on the eggplant slices.
Why do I place the fried eggplants on paper towel?
To get excess of oil off.
Why I coat or brush the casserole dish with oil?
It prevents the food from burning and sticking to the dish.
How to assemble this dish?
 First oil you're baking dish. Then to assemble, start with your sauce then place your eggplant and top with mozzarella cheese. You can also add Parmesan cheese if you’d like. Repeat the process.
Can I add some Parmesan cheese on top?
Yes you can add Parmesan cheese.
What temperature do I bake the eggplant parmesan?
Bake at 400F or 204.44C.
How long does this dish bake for?
Bake for 15 to 20 minutes and make sure the cheese is melted.
Why I don't add foil on top when this dish is baked?
Adding foil will make the breaded eggplants, soggier rather than crispier.
Can I garnish with parsley instead of basil?
Yes you can, personally I love basil.

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