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I often find that the star of eggplant parmigiana recipes (the eggplant!) ends up overwhelmed by the marinara or smothered by the cheese, so I experimented a bit and came up with a recipe that has a nice balance between all the flavors.
- 2 lbs eggplants, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 2 cups finely ground panko breadcrumbs (or regular breadcrumbs)
- 3⁄4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons Italian spices (a blend of whatever you prefer)
- 2 -3 eggs, beaten (start with 2, add another if needed)
- 2 -3 tablespoons water (add the third T. if you add a third egg)
- olive oil flavored cooking spray (about 1 T. total)
- 4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (2 cups)
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 -2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 ounce shredded parmesan cheese (1/2 cup)
- Preheat oven to 375 deg. F. Grease a 9x13 baking dish.
- Slice eggplant, set aside.
- Mix panko, cayenne, and italian seasonings in medium shallow bowl. Beat eggs with water in another shallow bowl.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Spray lightly with olive oil. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in breadcrumb mixture. Cook coated slices 2 minutes on a side or till tender, working in batches if needed.
- Layer 1/3 of the eggplant slices in the bottom of prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat layers 2 more times. Stir vinegar into marinara and spoon marinara over last layer. Top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella and parmesan.
- Cover dish loosely with foil and bake 30 minutes at 375 deg. F. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes, till cheese is golden. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
- **if you'd like to make this ahead, assemble up to 2 days in advance. Cover with foil and refrigerate till ready to bake, then cook about 10-15 extra minutes before removing the foil. (Please note, though, the longer you refrigerate it, the less crispy the crumb coating will be).
Thanks! Truely enjoy this.......increased the Italian Spices by 2 ........Another "keeper"! DPN
This dish was amazing!! I never liked nor thought I could make something as hard as eggplant parmigiana, but it came out great!! More time consuming than I expected..but it came out perfect. Everyone loved the dish, I will be making this again. Thanks.