This is my favorite way to eat eggplant. I haven't been feeling well lately, so having this was a comfort, even though it didn't come out as well as it has in the past (sadly shown by the photo). Every time I make this I always forget that I'd really like to peel the eggplant first because the skin can be tough and bitter (not to mention that neither flour nor egg nor bread crumbs tend to stick to it well).
Sometimes, I use a jar of sauce from the store, sometimes I make a simple tomato sauce, letting it simmer while I dredge and fry the eggplant. I always try to have enough to top my slices with more sauce.
If you have leftover slices and sauce, make a grilled sandwich with some crusty, buttered bread, eggplant parmesan slices, tomato sauce and mozzarella (or provolone, etc.). It only takes a few minutes in a hot pan to make a delicious lunch. (Or do what Alton Brown does - heat two cast iron pans on high then squish the sandwich between them.)
Eggplant Parmesan [printable recipe]
Adapted from a recipe featured by Kathy Maister
- 1 eggplant, optionally peeled
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups bread crumbs
- 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp each basil, oregano, thyme, marjoram, garlic powder, nutmeg, pepper
- 1 cup flour
- 2 eggs or 1 cup kefir or buttermilk
- 12 ounces tomato sauce (plus additional for topping, if desired)
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 shredded parmesan
Slice eggplant into 1/4" slices, sprinkle liberally with salt and arrange in a colander for 30 minutes. Pat dry.
In three separate dishes: Combine flour with nutmeg. Combine bread crumbs with remaining spices. Beat eggs with a tablespoon of buttermilk (or water, milk, etc.)
Dredge each slice of eggplant into flour, then egg, then bread crumbs.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 3 tbsp oil. Fry eggplant slices in a single layer (you will need to do them in batches) until golden brown, turning once. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Add additional oil as necessary for each subsequent batch of eggplant.
In a 13x9 or two 8x8 baking dishes, spread tomato sauce then layer the eggplant on top. (You will probably have to overlap some of them to get them to fit.) Sprinkle on cheeses.
Bake at 425F/220C for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling. Top with more sauce if desired.