I have never cooked with eggplant before but I love this dish in restaurants so I thought I would give it a try. It is absolutely delicious!! I loved it – and it felt pretty healthy too! I did a little research about eggplants since they were new to me and learned that fresh is best. Eggplants need to be used asap – the day you buy them preferably. They spoil very fast. Also, traditionally people would sprinkle them with salt and leave them for a time to draw out any bitterness. Although I did this in the recipe, I also learned online that it shouldn’t be necessary anymore since today’s eggplant varieties are rarely bitter if eaten fresh – the older the eggplant, the more bitter and most of the bitterness is located under the skin, hence the peeling. Technically you can eat the peel but I chose to salt and peel to avoid any possibility of bitterness! :) (Make sure you rinse the eggplants very well after salting though, since the breadcrumbs are very salty too…)Baked Eggplant Parmesan
submitted by Brittany
2 fresh eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 egg whites, beaten
2 1/2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
marinara sauce, divided (4-6 cups)
2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 2 Tb fresh basil, chopped
Arrange eggplant slices in a single layer and sprinkle with salt. Leave for 30 minutes then rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dip eggplant slices in egg whites, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. (Bake on Silpat, parchment paper or grease baking sheet very well.) Bake in preheated oven for 7-10 minutes on each side. In a 9×13 inch baking dish spread marinara sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
*you can use your favorite spaghetti sauce or you can make this easy and yummy marinara in 5 short minutes!!
Mel’s 5 minute Marinara Sauce
2 Tb olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 16oz cans Italian crushed tomatoes (or diced)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 handful Italian parsley leaves, chopped (optional)
salt and pepper to taste (leave out salt for this Eggplant Parmesan recipe)
Add olive oil to sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes to the heated olive oil. When pepper snaps and garlic sizzles, stir in crushed tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper and Italian seasoning. Cook for 5 minutes and stir in fresh parsley. Serve!