Thursday, September 5, 2013

Eggplant Parmesan

Last year my sister-in-law gave me a couple eggplants from her garden. I didn't know what to do with them, so she also shared the recipe for Eggplant Parmesan.

And I found a new love.

So this year I planted my own eggplant. I was a little disappointed at how few eggplant we were able to harvest, but we got enough for several opportunities to indulge in our new favorite dish. And I was able to ditter with the recipe to make it (I think) even better.

At first I had breaded both sides of all the eggplant slices. But the bottom eggplant was rather soggy. A clue from Cook's Country magazine had me eliminating the breading for all but the top layer of eggplant.


The remaining eggplant I baked with just a little seasoning. I also used less sauce. Much better.

In a pinch I used jarred pizza or spaghetti sauce but this is definitely better with a fresh homemade sauce. And the sauce cooks while the eggplant bakes so it doesn't take much more time. Besides I love recipes that start with walking out to the garden and bringing back a bowl full of veggies like this.

Don't those colors look good enough to eat!

Eggplant Parmesan

1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided

1 egg, beaten
2 lbs eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch slices
salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped tomato
1 sweet pepper, chopped

1 T fresh basil
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Mix bread crumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Place half of eggplant on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. For the remainder of the eggplant, dip one side in egg then in bread crumbs and place on another baking sheet, crumb side up. Bake eggplant in 475 oven for about 25 minutes on two oven racks, rotating sheets half way through baking time.

While eggplant bakes, saute onion in oil for five minutes. Add garlic and pepper, and saute a few minutes longer. Add tomatoes and cook for about ten minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and basil. Add salt and pepper to sauce if desired.

When eggplant is tender, remove from oven. In 9x13 pan, spread  1 1/2 cup of sauce in bottom of pan. Place unbreaded egg plant on sauce, overlapping as needed. Spread 3/4 cup of sauce over eggplant and sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Layer remaining eggplant, breaded side up. Spoon remaining sauce (about 3/4 cup) over eggplant and remaining 1 cup of cheese. Bake at 475 for 10-15 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.



  1. Well, that looks really good. I like egg plant. Haven't had any this year yet. But did swap some yesterday for some soap. I like the long skinny Asin kind. I slice them up, put a little mayp on each slice, then sprinkle fresh parmesian cheese on top and put under the broiler for about 6 or so minutes. They are amazing! Hard to eat just one.

    1. Yummy! I think I need to plant more eggplant next year!

  2. Our usual way of preparing and eating eggplant is to peel, slice thickly and cook till soft in salt water. Then drain off the liquid and mash the eggplant. Add 2? eggs and crushed Saltine crackers to make a thick mixture that can still be dropped easily from an ice-cream scoop. Heat butter or oil in a frying pan and drop onto the pan to make patties. We usually eat ours with tomato gravy. This recipe is great for introducing someone to eggplant for the first time because the flavor is very mild. After that, they'll probably eat eggplant any way you fix it.

    My Japanese husband was used to eating eggplant cooked whole on the grill and then split open so the creamy insides could be anointed with soy sauce, and scooped out for eating. They were skinny Japanese eggplant, of course. These are usually very mild in flavor--more so than the larger, fatter, Italian style.

    1. Thanks for the ideas! I have thought of trying to grill it but didn't get the nerve to try it yet!


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