Monday, August 27, 2012

Updated Eggplant Parmesan

I've already shared an Eggplant Parmesan recipe with you that I really enjoy eating. I don't, however, really enjoy making that recipe. Have you tried it? It's kind of a pain. The worst part is breading all of the super thin slices of eggplant. You have to soak them in water, coat them in egg, and then coat them in breadcrumbs - what a chore!

Well, I recently saw Mario Batali's eggplant parmesan recipe and had to try it. Instead of coating each of the eggplant slices, you just roast them. And then, so you don't lose the yummy crispy breadcrumb aspect of eggplant parmesan, you just toast some breadcrumbs and sprinkle them on top of the whole dish. The process is WAY easier and probably even makes for a lighter dish, which means you can eat more. I served this at a dinner party recently and got rave reviews - even from some guys that "didn't like eggplant". I think you'll enjoy it too.

Time: 45 minutes (about HALF the time of the previous recipe!)
Serves: 2

  • 1 large, male eggplant
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups of grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
  • fresh parsley and/or basil for garnish (optional)
  • olive oil, salt and pepper
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°
  2. Line a baking sheet (you may actually need 2) with foil and brush on some olive oil.
  3. Slice your eggplant into rounds about 3/4 inch thick. Lay the rounds in a single layer on your baking sheet(s) and top them with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Bake your eggplant for about 7 minutes, then rotate your baking sheets and roast for 7 or so more minutes. (If all of your eggplant fits on one baking sheet, just leave them in for 14 minutes.) You want the eggplant to be slightly browned on top.
  5. Remove your roasted eggplant from the oven and set aside.
  6. Turn the oven temperature down to 350°.
  7. While your eggplant roasts, grate your mozzarella, make your marinara sauce and toast your breadcrumbs. To toast the breadcrumbs, heat a small, nonstick skillet over medium and add about 1 tsp of olive oil. Then add your breadcrumbs and use a wooden spoon to stir them and coat them with the oil. Toast for 5 minutes or so until they are golden brown, stirring often to prevent them from burning. They'll brown a bit more in the oven so you don't need to take them too far.
  8. To assemble the dish, start with a few spoonfuls of marinara sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Top with 1 layer of eggplant, more marinara sauce and a little sprinkling of mozzarella.
  9. Repeat with another layer of eggplant, sauce and cheese. Make another layer if you have enough eggplant and top the whole casserole with your toasted breadcrumbs. (Note, I used more breadcrumbs than the recipe called for in this picture but it was too heavy so I suggest using only 1/4 cup.)
  1. Bake the casserole in your 350° oven for about 20 minutes. Top with chopped parsley and/or basil if you like.
  2. I like to cook pasta while the casserole bakes and toss with some of the remaining sauce. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. I'll admit I was skeptical, but this was amazing. I used Italian breadcrumbs because that's what I had, but it was still really good. What a lighter, quicker and much less smelly way to make this!