Eggplant Parmesan

For our CSA, we got a gorgeous eggplant and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.

Eggplant Parmesan recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Two words: Eggplant. Parmesan.  Need I say more?

I can’t think of Eggplant Parmesan without reminiscing about this little Italian restaurant called La Trattoria my family used to frequent. Not sure why I loved it so much, but the Eggplant Parmigiana was what I ordered every time. And we ate there a lot.

It’s weird to think of me as a little kid liking eggplant, now that I think about it. And brussel sprouts too, while we’re on that topic. Guess I’ve always been weird. Heehee.

Eggplant Parmesan recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Eggplant Parmesan recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Eggplant Parmesan recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Surprisingly, I don’t cook with eggplant that often even though I love it.  After making this super easy Eggplant Parmesan, though, I think it’s time to change that.  This meal was really tasty. 

If you don’t already, I really recommend using freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh mozzarella for this meal.  You won’t be disappointed.

Eggplant Parmesan recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Eggplant Parmesan recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef
Eggplant Parmesan recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Also, some people like to sprinkle the raw eggplant slices with kosher salt and let it sit for about an hour prior to cooking. This process is said to release the bitter-tasting juices from the eggplant. I haven’t found it necessary in the past, but feel free to do this step if you’d like. Just lay the slices out on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Let sit for approximately one hour and then rinse and pat dry.

Eggplant Parmesan recipe by Lacey Baier, a sweet pea chef

Such a delicious vegetarian meal. Yum!

Eggplant Parmesan

1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch slices
2 cups breadcrumbs
1 tbsp. dried oregano
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Olive oil for frying
1-2 cups simple tomato sauce
2/3 cup grated Parmesan, divided
8 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a shallow dish, combine the kosher salt, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme, basil and pepper.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dredge each eggplant slice in the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer 2-5 eggplant slices (depending on size) at a time to the hot skillet. Try not to overcrowd the slices. Cook until golden brown on each side, about 2-3 minutes per side. Place cooked eggplant on a dish lined with paper towels. Season with additional kosher salt and/or pepper if needed. Repeat with the remaining eggplant slices.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Lay the largest eggplant slice onto the baking sheet. Gently spoon about 2-3 tbsp. tomato sauce over the eggplant until coated. Place sliced mozzarella evenly over the tomato sauce. Sprinkle grated parmesan over the layer. Place the second largest eggplant slice next and repeat steps for the tomato sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle parmesan over the top layer. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, tomato sauce, parmesan and mozzarella.

Bake until just beginning to brown, approximately 15-20 minutes, depending on size and amount of eggplant.

 

Enjoy!

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As always, I want to thank you for visiting. I welcome your comments, questions, recipe suggestions and food stories. Here’s to doing what you love!
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About the author: My name is Lacey and I’m so glad you’re here. I am a foodie, a photographer, a chef, and a project manager at a local tech start-up in Austin. But, most importantly, I am the mother of three adorable little kiddos (Jordan, Savannah and Hunter) and am madly in love with and married to my high school sweetheart, Dustin.

15 comments… add one

  1. Gennaro October 18, 2010, 5:04 pm

    That eggplant looks amazing. And despite the many layers to it the finished product has a minimalist feel to it. Beautiful photos.

    Reply
  2. Jennifer October 18, 2010, 7:32 pm

    Looks delicious :D Although I have to admit I am not a fan of eggplant. I might try this with some zucchini.

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 19, 2010, 8:22 am

      Wait a minute…I finally post a vegetarian recipe and you don’t like eggplant??? Heehee. Sorry :( That’s an interesting idea with the zucchini, though.

      Reply
  3. Miss Becky October 19, 2010, 1:50 pm

    this looks so dang delicious. again, your photos are superb Lacey! I’ve found some vegan mozzarella that I intend to use, as I have one last eggplant from my garden that needs to be made into THIS!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 19, 2010, 2:24 pm

      Miss Becky, you are too kind! Vegan mozzarella, huh? I’ve never heard of that. I hope your new diet is going well. I’d love to know what you think of the eggplant parmesan if you try it out. Take care!

      Reply
  4. Maura October 21, 2010, 7:40 pm

    we got some in our CSA basket this week too and tried this recipe tonight. pretty good! we were trying to find something to do with our eggplant (neither lars nor i are big fans) but saw this post and thought we’d give it a try. thanks lacey!

    Reply
  5. Melissa Miles October 22, 2010, 6:31 am

    This looks so great. One of my favorite meals ever is eggplan parm. Yours looks so gorgeous! I’m so with you on fresh mozz. I can’t eat parm without it!!

    Reply
    1. lacey - a sweet pea chef October 24, 2010, 3:33 pm

      Hi Melissa! Thanks for sharing. Isn’t fresh mozzarella AND eggplant Parmesan the best? :)

      Reply
  6. Vegolicious October 23, 2010, 4:15 pm

    Mmmm eggplant parmasen. This is a fantastic dish and looks so delicious.

    I’d love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my new vegetarian food photo gallery showcasing beautiful and flavorful vegetarian food.

    Reply
  7. Bessie October 6, 2013, 4:20 pm

    Sounds lovely, but do make sure you don’t use actual Parmasan if serving this to a vegetarian, as Parmasan (and Parmigiano-Reggiano) is *never* vegetarian!

    https://www.vegsoc.org/saycheese

    Reply

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