Do you have a meal that no matter how long it takes to make, you still don’t care and find yourself making it every single week? Our eggplant parmigiana is that type of meal. It is definitely no quick meal (about an hour of preparation/cooking involved), yet we still find ourselves making it every week. We love it for a variety of reasons. First, it’s a completely vegetarian meal. We are big meat eaters, but a couple dinners a week, we put that all away and have a vegetarian meal. We’ll usually have pasta one of the days, and then this the other day. But to be honest, you don’t even realize that there’s no meat. Eggplant is one of those vegetables that is still very filling and full of flavor. Secondly, it is such a flavorful meal. The homemade (or store-bought!) tomato sauce, the fresh melted mozzarella, and the italian-style seasoning on the tender eggplant slices meshes so well together. It is a home-y meal that despite taking the time, is totally worth it.
1 large eggplant, sliced to 1/4-1/2″ slices
2 eggs, whisked on a flat dish
Italian seasoning bread crumbs, on a flat dish (about 2 cups should be enough)
2-3 cups of homemade tomato sauce, or about 1 24-oz jar of tomato sauce
1 fresh mozzarella ball, sliced to 1/4″ slices
Plenty of olive oil for frying
Preheat oven to 350 F. Fill a large pan with enough olive oil to well-coat it. Heat to medium-medium high.
On the counter, organize your stations – sliced eggplants, eggs, and bread crumbs. Dip the eggplant slices into the eggs, then directly into the bread crumbs. Make sure both the top, bottom, and sides are coated.
Once the oil is hot enough, add as many eggplant slices as you can to the pan without having any overlap. Let the slices cook for about 3-5 minutes on each side. Even though they’re going to keep cooking in the oven, the eggplant should be almost 100% cooked and tender. If you push a spatula onto the middle of the eggplant, you shouldn’t really feel any resistance. Repeat this process, adding more oil as needed, until all the slices are cooked.
On a 7×11″ pyrex casserole dish, start laying the cooked slices. Once you have the first layer, coat them with a layer of tomato sauce. Add another layer and coat with another layer of tomato sauce. That should be it for the eggplant and tomato sauce, but continue if you still have either remaining. Add the cubes of cheese on top. Transfer the dish to the oven and let cook until the mozzarella starts to brown and the sauce is bubbling, about 45 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes. At this point, the eggplant should be completely tender. No knife necessary!
– food on,