So I know I’ve posted about Eggplant Parmesan before. But it’s one of my all time favorite summer meals so I find myself making it over and over again, always in search of the ultimate concoction!
I’ve deep fried, pan fried and fried every which way you can fry my eggplant. I love fried eggplant, I just can’t help it. However, I am trying to make consistently good food choices and while frying is delicious, it’s not so good for your waistline (so sad). So with that in mind I set out to make the best tasting baked Eggplant Parm that ever there was.
First I sliced my eggplant thicker than I normally would for fried eggplant parm. I had a big fat beautiful eggplant that I got from Mill Valley Market. Then I dipped it in egg wash, white flour (you could use whole wheat) and regular bread crumbs that I seasoned with salt, pepper and parmesan cheese.
While I was breading the eggplant I had the oven preheating to 450 degrees and I had my cookie sheet in there heating up with the oven. I like heating up the pan because then when you put the cold breaded eggplant of the pan you can hear it sizzle right away and it develops a nice crust. Just like you wouldn’t put the eggplant in a cold frying pan and then heat it up, you shouldn’t put the eggplant on a cold cookie sheet and then let it heat up in the oven, you want it to cook right away. I baked the eggplant for about 30 minutes, 15 minutes on each side.
When the eggplant is done baking it should be nice and golden brown. Now you are ready to assemble the dish.
I had some homemade tomato sauce in the fridge. I always make a big batch when I make tomato sauce so I can keep some on hand.
My go to quick and easy tomato sauce is simple: saute some thin sliced garlic cloves in olive oil until they are just starting to turn brown, add a couple of basil leaves, then 2 cans 14oz whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes. I only use San Marzanos, they are so good. Salt and pepper, bring to a boil then simmer for 1 hour. Done.
So now it’s time to assemble. In a glass oven proof dish put about 2 TBS tomato sauce. Layer your largest pieces of eggplant. Top with a small amount of tomato sauce, some mozzarella cheese, torn basil leaves, and some grated parmesan, then add another slice of eggplant and continue to layer. I did not put a lot of tomato sauce on this time because I did not want my crsipy eggplant to get too soft when baking.
When it is all assembled bake in the 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese just starts turning brown and tomato sauce is bubbling.
Baked Eggplant Parm
- 2 large eggplants-sliced thick
- homemade tomato sauce
- fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 cups unseasoned bread crums
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups flour
- salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 450-while oven is preheating slice eggplant. You will need 3 large, shallow bowls. In 1 bowl prepare an egg wash. In the next add your bread crumbs and then season with parmesan cheese and salt and pepper. In the third add the flour. Put your eggplant slices in the flour and get both sides covered with flour and shake of the excess. Then dip in the egg wash and finally dip in the seasoned bread crumbs. When you have prepared all the eggplant this way add eggplants to a hot baking dish and bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Next assemble your dish. In a casserole put 2 TBS tomato sauce and then layer the eggplants in 3 layers with tomato sauce, basil, mozzarella and parmesan.
Bake for 15 to twenty minutes. Let rest for about 10 minutes and then serve.
My good friend just called in the middle of this post and reminded me that I have blogged about eggplant parm before. I had to laugh and say I know. I think I will try to make this dish in every way conceivable, so I will probably blog about it again in the future!
One more thing, I ate this again the day after I made it and I think it was even better! The eggplant actually stayed crispy so if you want to you can make this dish ahead of time and just warm it up in the oven.