2 to 3 medium eggplants (about 2 ¼ lb.), sliced ½” thick
2 cups all purpose flour (lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper)
4 large eggs, beaten with 1-2 tablespoons water
3 cups plain breadcrumbs (lightly seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper)
extra-virgin olive oil as needed for frying
1 ½ quarts homemade Rao's marinara sauce
1 ½ lb. shredded (or thinly sliced) mozzarella (preferably buffalo mozzarella from Italy)
16 basil leaves
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano
1. Place eggplant slices in a large colander and sprinkle generously with kosher salt. Toss and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 ½ hours. Rinse well with cold water to remove the salt and drain. You can skip this entire step, but I think it improves the texture and removes some bitterness.
2. Heat roughly 1/4” oil in a large, heavy skillet. Dredge the sliced eggplant slices in the flour, shaking off the excess. Dip in egg mixture, then breadcrumbs. Fry the eggplant until golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
3. Heat oven to 350º F.
4. Coat the bottom of a deep 9- x 13-inch baking pan with about 1/3 of the marinara sauce. Add a single layer of eggplant. Sprinkle with half the parmigiano-reggiano, half the basil (tearing the leaves as you go) and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat the layering process (starting with more sauce). Top with the remaining sauce and mozzarella.
5. Cover and bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted. Let sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot.
|salted eggplant slices|
|dipping in flour|
|dipping in egg|
|dipping in breadcrumbs|
Make sure the oil is nice and hot (the eggplant should sizzle
when it hits the pan). Otherwise the eggplant just sits there
soaking up oil. That's how you get greasy eggplant parmesan.
|eggplant layered over marinara sauce|
I had enough slices that I could tear
up a few and fill in some of the gaps
|sprinkled with parmigiano-reggiano and basil|
|topped with mozzarella|
(I prefer buffalo mozzarella, but you can use regular.)
I continued layering, but forgot to take a
photo of the uncooked finished product...
|...but here's the baked eggplant parmesan|
|sliced, in the pan|
I also forgot to take a photo of a piece on a plate,
but I found a photo from the last time I made this,
so that's what's up at the top of the page.