By Shannon Deady
Eggplant parmesan is one of my favorite dishes, and one of the only traditional Italian recipes I did not get passed down from my family. I created the recipe on my own, working off of my family’s chicken parmesan. It is a labor intensive meal to create, but beyond worth the work once finished. For a healthier twist, bake the eggplant rather than frying it. Although it hurts the chef in me, if you want to make this recipe but are in a pinch for time, a jarred sauce will also suffice. My recommended jarred sauce is Rao's Marinara Sauce, which you can find at most grocery stores.
-1 large eggplant
-1/2 cup flour
-1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
-1/4 cup parmesan
-1 square or 16 oz whole milk mozzarella
-1 large can or 16 oz whole peeled tomato
-1 clove garlic
-1 small yellow onion
-1 tbsp parsley
-1 handful fresh basil finely chopped
-a pinch of sugar
-2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
-1/3 cup of canola oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Chop onion and garlic finely, and brown in a medium saucepan until golden.
- Put can of whole-peeled tomato, parsley, basil and a pinch of sugar into a blender and pulse until smooth.
- Add sauce mixture into the saucepan with onions and garlic, and let simmer covered on medium to low heat for 30 minutes.
- For the eggplant, put whisked eggs and flour into 2 separate bowls assembly-line style. In a separate bowl, mix Italian bread crumbs and parmesan.
- Peel the eggplant and cut it in about 1/4 inch circles.
- Begin dipping eggplant, starting with the flour, then the eggs, then into the breadcrumbs and parmesan mixture.
- Fill a large saucepan with canola oil and begin the frying process. Once oil is bubbling, fill the pan with eggplant. Use a fork to flip the eggplant after two minutes, or golden brown. Continue process until all eggplant has been fried.
- Cut the mozzarella into one-inch cubes.
- In a casserole dish, begin the layering process. Start with one layer of eggplant until bottom of dish is covered. Next, add a layer of your homemade sauce and cover with mozzarella. Continue layering until you run out of ingredients.
- Place in oven and let bake for 20 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.