Eggplant Parmesan

There are probably more traditional versions of this recipe, but mine sure is tasty. We get a lot of eggplant this time of year, and one of the things that surprised me when I first started using Greenling was the wide variety of eggplants out there. I’ve seen green ones, white ones, and ones as small as my thumb, but when these perfectly round, purple globes showed up at my doorstep, I knew what they’d be perfect for:

The method isn’t difficult. Breaded and lightly fried eggplant slices are layered in a baking dish, covered with red sauce and cheese, and quickly broiled until the cheese browns. I double-bread the eggplant, like you would fried chicken, and serve with whole wheat spaghetti, more pasta sauce, and a bit of parmesan cheese.

An important first step in the process is “sweating” the eggplant slices. You’ll sprinkle them with salt and let them sit for a while. The salt draws out a lot of the moisture in the eggplants, making them less mushy when they cook. I recommend not skipping this step – it really does make a difference. One tablespoon sounds like a lot, but you’ll wipe most of it off before you cook the eggplants.

Eggplant Parmesan

2 large eggplants, cut into 1/4 in. slices
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp salt, divided
1 cup flour
1 tsp Italian seasoning (I used Fiesta Zesty Italian Delight)
1 tsp black pepper
3 eggs, beaten
Olive oil
3 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
26 oz. jar pasta sauce (I used Classico Tomato Basil)
Cooked spaghetti
Parmesan cheese
Sliced basil

Preheat broiler. Spread eggplant slices in a single layer on a plate and sprinkle with 1 tbsp. salt (kosher works best). Let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. You’ll see beads of moisture collecting on the surface of each slice. Wipe down each slice.

Pour a thin layer of olive oil into a large skillet, 4-5 tbsp. Heat over medium-high heat. Combine flour, 1 tsp salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in a bowl. Dip each eggplant slice in flour, shake off the excess, dip in beaten egg, then back into flour, shaking off extra flour.

Place slices in the pan in a single layer and cook about 3 minutes per side, until browned and crisp. This may take more than one batch. Add more oil if necessary. Layer slices in a square baking dish. Pour half the jar of sauce over the eggplant slices, coating them. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and place in the oven. Broil about 6 minutes, until cheese browns.

Warm the other half of the jar of pasta sauce and use it to coat your spaghetti. Place some spaghetti and sauce on a plate with a piece of the eggplant mixture, and sprinkle spaghetti with parmesan cheese. Sprinkle both with basil.

2 responses to “Eggplant Parmesan

  1. Try using nutritional food yeast for the breading instead of flour, or mix half and half. Adds a nutty flavor and ups the protein/B vitamin content!

  2. Great idea!

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