For our CSA, we got a gorgeous eggplant and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.
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.
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.
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.
Such a delicious vegetarian meal. Yum!
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
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.