Lions’ Plate: Savory Eggplant Parm

By Shannon Deady
Columnist

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.

Top this dish with marinara sauce for added flavor (Facebook).

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

-1 large eggplant

-3 eggs

-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

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop onion and garlic finely, and brown in a medium saucepan until golden.
  3. Put can of whole-peeled tomato, parsley, basil and a pinch of sugar into a blender and pulse until smooth.
  4. Add sauce mixture into the saucepan with onions and garlic, and let simmer covered on medium to low heat for 30 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. Peel the eggplant and cut it in about 1/4 inch circles.
  7. Begin dipping eggplant, starting with the flour, then the eggs, then into the breadcrumbs and parmesan mixture.
  8. 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.
  9. Cut the mozzarella into one-inch cubes.
  10. 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.
  11. Place in oven and let bake for 20 minutes. Let cool and enjoy.

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