Prep 2 hrs
Cook 30 mins
If you are a lover of eggplant or have never tryed it, I urge you to make this recipe, it is just fantastic! Dryed bread crumbs may be used in place of the panko bread crumbs and two (28-ounce) cans whole plum tomatoes can be used in place of the fresh tomatoes, but fresh is better! To save time prepare the tomato sauce up to 2 days in advance. The eggplant slices can be broiled in the oven instead of frying in oil if desired.
- 3 medium eggplants (cut crosswise into about 1/3-inch rounds)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5 lbs fresh plum tomatoes (use only plum tomatoes)
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 15 large fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces (can use more)
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes (or to taste)
- 1 cup flour
- 5 large eggs, slighty beaten
- 4 cups panko breadcrumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 1⁄2 cups olive oil (or use vegetable oil)
- 1 lb thinly sliced mozzarella cheese (or use shredded)
- 1 cup parmesan cheese (or to taste)
- Sprinkle the eggplant with salt, the set over a cookie rack with a baking sheet underneath to drain for about 30 minutes.
- While the eggplants are draining, make an X in the bottom of each tomato with a small sharp knife.
- Set a pot of boiling water over the stove and transfer the tomatoes in the pot; boil for 1 minute then set in a colinder to drain.
- When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle peel off the skins, then chop coarsley.
- Puree the fresh tomatoes in a blender for about 30 seconds.
- Heat about 4-5 tablespoons olive oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat, add in the onions and garlic with red pepper flakes; saute for about 5 minutes (the sauce can be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated).
- Add in the tomato puree with fresh chopped basil.
- Simmer uncovered for 1 hour (or more) or until slightly thickened, season with salt and pepper.
- Set oven to 375 desgrees (oven to second-lowest position).
- Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
- In a shallow bowl sift together flour with 1 teaspoon salt (I use seasoning salt) and black pepper to taste.
- Lightly beat eggs in another bowl.
- In a third bowl mix together the panko bread crumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
- Working with one slice of eggplant at a time, dredge first in flour shaking off any excess, then dip into the eggs, letting any excess eggs drip off, then dredge into the panko mixture until evenly coated.
- Repeat with remaining slices.
- Transfer the eggplant to sheets of waxed paper arranging in one layer.
- Heat 1-1/2 cups olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium high heat.
- Fry the eggplant slices until golden brown on both sides (if desired you can broil the eggplant instead of frying).
- Transfer to paper towels to drain.
- Spread about 1 cup of the cooked tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Arrange 1/3 of the eggplant slices in one layer over the sauce (overlapping slightly if necessary).
- Cover the eggplant with about 1/3 of the remaining sauce (about 1-1/2 cups).
- Then cover with 1/3 of the mozza slices.
- Continue layering with eggplant slices, sauce and mozza cheese.
- Sprinkle with 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
- Bake UNCOVERED until the cheese is melted and golden and the sauce is bubbling, about 30-40 minutes).
As eggplant goes, I usually pass on it (not such a fan) but having had Eggplant Parmesean in a restaurant (quite by accident), I decided to try this recipe and the verdict is: DELICIOUS!! I will absolutely be cooking this again and soon! Thanks Kittencalskitchen!! You've given us a delightful taste experience with this one!