I have had this dish at one of our local favorite Italian restaurants, and I have been wanting to try to make it at home. I found a great deal at the farmers market recently – three eggplants for $1! I figured it wasn’t going to get any cheaper than that for a test run on a recipe, so I bought them!
I like this recipe because the eggplant is baked and not fried. Healthier is better right?!
One of the reasons I have held off on making this dish is because of the salting of the eggplant before you cook with it. I was worried I would do it wrong. It is so easy! Please allow yourself some time if you are going to make this recipe so that you can cut and salt your eggplant for a while before cooking. I let mine sit for 45 minutes before rinsing. I cut the eggplant, salted it, let it sit, and then rinsed it under cold water.
I have to say, I was not feeling anywhere near 100% when I made this, and I didn’t have the fresh basil. I still thought it tasted great, and Tim seemed to enjoy it as well.
I think because I used smaller sized eggplants, I may have baked it a bit too long as it was kind of mushy. However, it still had excellent flavor. I served it over some penne pasta.
This recipe came from Gimme Some Oven.com at http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/baked-eggplant-parmesan-recipe/
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
2 medium eggplants, sliced into 1/2 inch thick rounds
1 1/2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning (I use Savory Spices blend, and we love it!)
cooking spray (I did not use this.)
1 25 ounce jar tomato sauce (I used spaghetti sauce.)
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese (I used shredded.)
2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped or julienned fresh basil
(I also picked up a small 8 ounce can of tomato sauce to pour into the bottom of the pan.)
OPTIONAL (But recommended) first step: If you have time and want to remove some of the bitterness from the eggplant, sprinkle each round with a bit of salt. Place the rounds in a colander in the sink to drain, or place them on a few paper towels (my choice) for about 30 minutes. Rinse off the salt water, then proceed with the recipe.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside. (I had smaller eggplant, and it all fit on one baking sheet.)
In a shallow bowl, whisk together the Panko bread crumbs, Italian seasoning and 1 teaspoon salt until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth. Dip an eggplant round on both sides in the whisked egg mixture then immediately dip it in the bread crumb mixture until the eggplant is completely covered, then set on the parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with all remaining eggplant rounds. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the bread crumbs are toasted and slightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside.
Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce evenly over the bottom of an 11 x 8 inch baking dish (This is where I just poured that small can of tomato sauce in and spread it evenly.). Place half of the eggplant in a mostly even layer along the bottom of the baking dish. Spread an additional 1 cup of tomato sauce over the eggplant. Then sprinkle with one cup mozzarella cheese followed by 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, followed by 1/4 cup of the fresh basil. Repeat with another layer of the remaining eggplant, then tomato sauce, then mozzarella, then Parmesan.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and starts to turn slightly golden around the edges, and the sauce is bubbly. Remove and sprinkle with the remaining basil. Serve immediately.
The Italian Herbs we love can be found here: https://www.savoryspiceshop.com/spice-blends/italian-herbs.html