My absolute favorite dish! I requested my mom make big pans of eggplant parm for my high school graduation many years ago. Delicious! For a quicker version, use your tomato sauce from your pantry share. Sometimes I lightly sauté the eggplant without breading it if I’m low on eggs. Your choice – you really can’t go wrong with eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, and cheese!
- 1 eggplant
- sea salt
- 2 cups whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 12 oz of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 1/2 cup grated high quality Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 packed cup fresh basil leaves or several TB of pesto
- Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices.
- Arrange one layer in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly with salt.
- Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting, until all eggplant is in the colander.
- Weigh down the slices with a couple of plates and let drain for 2 hours.
- The purpose of this step is to have the eggplant release some of its moisture before cooking.
- While the eggplant is draining, prepare tomato sauce.
- Combine tomatoes, garlic and 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- When eggplant has drained, press down on it to remove excess water, wipe off the excess salt, and lay the slices out on paper towels to remove all the moisture.
- In a wide, shallow bowl, combine flour and breadcrumbs.
- Mix well.
- Pour beaten eggs into another wide shallow bowl.
- Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in a a half inch of olive oil.
- When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the beaten egg.
- Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once.
- Drain on paper towels.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- In the bottom of a 10×15 inch glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce.
- Top with one third of the eggplant slices.
- Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices.
- Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves (or a tb of pesto dabbed around).
- Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil (or pesto).
- Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.
- Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes.
- Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.