If you’ve sampled eggplant parmesans from different places, you probably noticed that they tend not to resemble one another. Each component varies greatly – from the thickness of the eggplant slices to the proportion of cheese to sauce. If you want it saucy and gooey, cut thinner eggplant slices. If you want it crunchy and crispy, cut thicker eggplant slices and fry them longer. I made mine more of the gooey version, but it’s really all up to you!
from Simply Recipes
- 2 lbs (about 2 large) eggplants
- Kosher salt
- 1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
- 4 large eggs, beaten
- 1 1/2 lbs of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
- 1 cup grated high quality Parmesan cheese
- 1 packed cup fresh basil leaves
Cut eggplants lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices. Arrange one layer in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly with salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant. Weigh down the slices with a couple of plates and let drain for 2 hours. This would somewhat dehydrate the eggplant slices and avoid excess moisture during cooking.
Combine tomatoes, garlic and 1/3 cup olive oil in a food processor. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
When eggplant has drained, press down on it to remove excess water, wipe off the excess salt, and lay the slices out on paper towels to remove all the moisture. Preheat oven to 350F.
In a wide bowl, combine and mix flour and breadcrumbs. Pour beaten eggs into another wide bowl. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in half an inch of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the beaten egg. Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.
In the bottom of a 10×15 inch glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of tomato sauce. Top with one third of the eggplant slices. Top eggplant with half of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with one third of the Parmesan and half of the basil leaves.
Make a second layer of eggplant slices, topped by 1 cup of sauce, remaining mozzarella, half the remaining Parmesan, and all of the remaining basil. Add remaining eggplant, and top with the remaining tomato sauce and Parmesan.
Bake until cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving. Serve with pasta.