Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

After grilling out some eggplant a few weeks ago I remembered making this eggplant parmesan last summer that was so good.  Before I met Corey I don't think I would have ever thought to order eggplant parm, but it was one of his favs.  One time he ordered it out at our favorite restaurant Maggiano's and I fell in love.  This eggplant parm is so yummy.  It is relatively easy to make, it just takes some time so you might save it for a weekend meal (Sunday night anyone?)!  If you wanted you could use a jarred tomato sauce to make it easy or if you could get really fancy and make your own sauce.  I think next time I would just use a jarred sauce to make it easy.  Please learn from my mistake and do not make this on a Wednesday, or else your kitchen will be a disaster.  I halved the eggplant below and used the same quantities for the sauce, and baked it in a 13 x 9 pan.  I served with whole wheat spaghetti noodles.

Eggplant Parmesan
delightfully borrowed from Simply Recipes

2 lbs (about 2 large) eggplants
Kosher salt
1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
4 large eggs, beaten
1 1/2 lbs of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 cup grated high quality Parmesan cheese
1 packed cup fresh basil leaves

1 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.  I didn't have time so I skipped this step and mine didn't turn out too watery.
2 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 tasted and set aside.
3 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.
4 Preheat the oven to 350°F. In the bottom of a 10x15 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.
5 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. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.
6 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.

frying up the eggplants

before the oven

yummy, cheesy straight out of the oven


we had it with caprese salad, one can never have too much fresh mozzarella in their life!

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