I almost started this post by saying how good eggplant is. (Which, first of all, the name “egg-plant” is kind of … ew if you ask me, but anyway)- I can’t attest to the fact that it’s good in all its’ forms. I CAN tell you that I LOVE eggplant parmesan. But that’s as far as the relationship between me and eggplants go. How many times did I just say the word eggplant?…eggplant.
Is it possible that I like this just because it’s breaded, and there is cheese & sauce involved?
Possibly. I eat sauce out of the jar with a spoon and without cheese, I couldn’t go on.
What’s your FAVORITE all time fried food?
Right now… I’m thinking fried clams would be like, the best thing that could happen to me.
So the process of making this is easy-peasy. There’s just one step involved that you don’t have to do for chicken parm, which is getting rid of some of the moisture in that eggplant. They’re damp little suckers and that’ll mess up the consistency if you don’t get some of it out. Other than that, you just dip the slices three times each. Once in flour, then in egg, then in breadcrumbs.
So sue me. I like things that are breaded, with cheese on top. But it’s an eggplant, a vegetable for crying out loud. Aaaand I baked it. And I LOVE CHEESE! So there.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan
This lightly breaded eggplant is brushed with olive oil & Italian seasonings, topped with marinara sauce & cheese, and baked to perfection.
- One medium eggplant, washed & sliced.
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 egg, whisked
- ¾ cup Italian Breadcrumbs
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
- ¾ cup mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Fresh parsley, to garnish the top (optional)
Cut the eggplant into ½ inch slices. Sprinkle the top and bottom of the eggplant with salt and cover the top and bottom with paper towels. Press down to remove excess moisture. Then set in between dry paper towels and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, the longer the better. We need to remove as much excess moisture as possible.
Tip: When working with certain vegetables like zucchini, potatoes, and of course, eggplant, it is important to remove that excess moisture first- salting it helps move this process along. These vegetables tend to be very moist and that can adversely impact the texture and quality of the meal if it is not taken care of before you begin.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brush off any excess salt if necessary and add pepper if desired. Place the flour in a Ziploc bag and drop in the eggplant, coat well on each side.
Drop each floured eggplant slice into a bowl with the beaten egg and coat on each side. Transfer to a plate that has the breadcrumbs and coat will on each side.
Mix the Italian Seasonings and the oil together and brush each side of the eggplant.
Place the eggplant on a baking pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until it begins to brown slightly and has crisped up.
In a baking dish or dutch oven, (I love using my 5 ½ quart Le Creuset Dutch Oven), spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom. Spread the eggplant around the bottom, (if they overlap one-another that is okay!) Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and add the sauce. Top with mozzarella cheese and oregano.
Bake it in the oven, (covered) for about 8 minutes, then remove the cover and continue to bake for approximately 10-15 more minutes, until the cheese is hot and melted and begins to brown lightly the top.
Top with fresh parsley. Remove with a spatula and serve on its’ own, with a salad, on top of pasta, or in a sub!