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Ultimate Eggplant Parmesan

 

Eggplant parmesan had always been one of my favorite dishes — to me, it’s the ultimate comfort food. Whenever I make it, I’ll have it for dinner, then with a poached egg for breakfast, a side salad for lunch, or a cold sliver for a night time snack.

I’ve been making variations on eggplant parmesan for years, but this is my favorite version of the recipe. By baking the vegetables instead of frying, it reduces the fat as well as the mess, and using a combination of zucchini and eggplant adds an extra layer of flavor and texture. I also love combining panko with traditional Italian-style breadcrumbs. These little twists go a long way in making our eggplant parmesan truly special.
eggplant 3

 

Eggplant Parmesan

 

Ingredients

 

for sauce

 

28 oz whole canned tomatoes

5 cloves of garlic

1 small white onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup fresh basil

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

 

Method 

 

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil. Crush garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife and cook until lightly browned. Add onions and cook until just translucent.

Break up tomatoes with your hands and add tomatoes and liquid to the pot. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes.

Add fresh basil and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm until ready to serve.

 

for Eggplant

 

2 medium eggplant

2 medium zucchini

1/2 cup AP flour, seasoned with salt and pepper

5 eggs

2 cups panko

2 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs

1 pound fresh mozzarella cheese

1 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for the top

 

eggplant 1

 

Method

 

Slice eggplant and zucchini into 1/2” thick rounds

Place eggplant and zucchini slices on a sheet tray, sprinkle both sides with salt, and let sit for about an hour. This released the excess water from the vegetables. Then, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.

Beat eggs gently and set aside in a medium sized bowl. Place seasoned flour in one bowl, and a mixture of both breadcrumbs in another. Season the breadcrumbs with salt, pepper, and dried oregano. Prepare a sprayed sheet tray, and pre-heat your oven to 400 F.

Dredge the eggplant and zucchini slices first in flour, then in egg, and finally, in the breadcrumb mixture. Lay the sliced out on the sheet tray and bake at 400 F for about 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

In a 9 x 13” baking dish, layer marinara sauce, baked eggplant and zucchini slices, and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Complete this layering process 2 more times for a total of 3 layers. Top with extra mozzarella and parmesan cheeses — this will make a nice bubbly, brown crust!

Bake at 400 F for about 30-50 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly. Move under the broiler for a minute and cook until browned.


Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)


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