Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Best Eggplant Parmesan

I love eggplant Parmesan but I have never attempted to make it before.  It is one of my favorite Italian dishes.
This recipe blew me away.  Both Matt and I loved it.  Matt said it was the first recipe since going meat free that he felt really satisfied from.  I will say it is a bit time consuming to bread the eggplant and fry it.  That took about 30 minutes but the layering part is super easy and the effort is well worth it.  We both went back for seconds and it made enough to last for two dinners. 
Fresh mozzarella makes such a big difference so don't skip that part!  I opted to use Panko breadcrumbs because I prefer them.  I think they are lighter and not as dense as regular breadcrumbs but feel free to use either. 
I paired ours with a small green side salad and it was a perfect filling vegetarian meal.

|| E G G P L A N T   P A R M E S A N ||
adapted via Table for Two

- 1 large eggplant
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 1 jar marinara sauce (I always use Raos it's our favorite)
- 2 cups Italian Panko Breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs 
- 1/2 cup milk
- 8 tablespoons peanut oil for frying
- 1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced
- 3/4 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- fresh basil

Slice eggplant and place in colander and sprinkle with salt.  This will help all the extra water come out of the eggplant before you cook it.  I placed my colander in a bowl in the sink and let the eggplant sit for an hour to drain off water.  Afterwards pat dry and brush off extra salt.

In a shallow bowl mix the milk and eggs.  In another shallow bowl add the panko breadcrumbs.  You can use regular breadcrumbs but I prefer the panko because they are lighter.

Dip the sliced eggplant into the milk/egg mixture first, then the breadcrumbs.  Lay all out on baking sheet or parchment paper. 

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet.  I cooked about 3 eggplant slices at a time.  Cook until they start to slightly brown, just a few minutes on each side.  Place on paper towels to drain afterwards.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

In a baking dish cover the bottom with about 1/4 cup marinara sauce.  Layer on eggplant, shredded mozzarella and Parmesan and then marinara..  Saving enough cheese and marinara for 2 more layers.

On the last layer end with eggplant and the sliced fresh mozzarella.  Top with fresh basil.

Bake about 30-35 minutes. 


Pineapples & Olives said...

For some reason I never know what to do with eggplant and forget about the obvious choice; eggplant parmesan. My husband also struggles with the concept of meatless dinners so I will have to give this a try.

Leslie said...

Thanks for sharing! I will be pinning this so I have it for future reference!

Wendy H. said...

Natalie, have you and your family gone completely "meat-free"? What about your intense love of bacon? Have you considered publishing a cookbook? I'd love to buy one if you did.

Taylor said...

I love love love eggplant parm this looks so good Natalie! Did Matt (and you) go totally Meat Free?! I had no idea! I have posts I missed during the last few weeks!


Hallucinated Green Light said...

Looks delicious!