Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 1 hr
Crispy layers of eggplant between homemade marinara sauce and lots of fresh mozzarella and parmigano reggiano cheese.
- 1 medium eggplant
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 (28 ounce) can tomatoes with basil, crushed
- 1 sprig fresh basil
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 1⁄2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme, divided
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon whole milk
- 1⁄2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese, grated
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella balls, sliced
- all-purpose flour, for dredging
- kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- vegetable oil, for frying
- Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch round slices. Arrange the slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle generously with kosher salt on both sides. Set aside for 1 hour to let the bitter juices weep from the eggplant. Meanwhile, make the marinara sauce.
- Heat the 2 Tbs olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the onion for 2 minutes and stir in the garlic. Saute for another minute until lightly browned. Add the can of tomatoes, a sprig of fresh basil and 1/2 Tbs of the dried thyme (or a fresh sprig of thyme if you have it). Bring the sauce to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Turn off the burner, remove the herb sprigs and leave the sauce until you are ready to assemble the casserole.
- Heat enough vegetable oil over med-high heat in a large dutch over or high-side skillet to completely cover the slices of eggplant.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the flour in a deep plate.
- Whisk the eggs with the milk in another another deep plate.
- Combine the bread crumbs, 1 tsp salt, oregano and other 1/2 Tbsp thyme and season well with black pepper in a third deep plate.
- Transfer the eggplant to a colander and rinse well with cold water. Blot the slices dry with clean kitchen towels.
- Dredge the eggplant in the flour, then dip it in the egg and finally dredge it in the breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and lay the eggplant on a baking sheet.
- Fry the eggplant in the vegetable oil in small batches. The oil should be 400 degrees. Basically, it needs to be hot. Turn it over once during the frying process and it should be golden brown and crispy on both sides. Remove the eggplant to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
- Prepare a 13x9 baking dish by brushing lightly with olive oil.
- Cover the bottom of the baking dish with 1/3 of the marinara sauce. Arrange half of the eggplant over the sauce. Cover the eggplant with another 1/3 of the sauce. Scatter half of the Parmesan cheese and layer half of the mozzarella over the eggplant. Repeat with the remaining eggplant, sauce, parmesan and mozzarella.
- Bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
So lovely! I found ripe amazing tomatoes at the market this morning and really wanted to make something with them....so I made this! I added roasted bell pepper, fresh parsley, finely shredded carrot to the sauce to give it more veggies. Instead of olive oil I used red wine to saute the onion and garlic. I recently joined a gym and trying to get in shape, looking for any ways to cut fat or calories. I guess not making eggplant Parmesan would be one way! I also use an olive oil spray instead of trying the eggplant. So yummy! I would only recommend making more sauce, I think my 9 tomatoes easily was more than 28 oz, but it could have used more sauce. Thanks for the great recipe!
I had guests over and they love vegies so I made this. It was great. I will make it again.
Excellent flavor and easy to make.Hadn't made it before even though I'm 100% Sicilian :-). Great idea with the salt and it prevents bitter tasting eggplant. Thanks!