Prep 1 hr 30 mins
Cook 35 mins
This is my mother-in-law's eggplant parm, and it is incredible. Simple ingredients yield a dish filled with complexity of flavors. While it is easy to prepare, it is also labor-intensive... all that eggplant frying takes some time! It is definitely worth the results. Serve with some bread or foccacia to soak up those wonderful juices. This dish can also be assembled ahead of time, and refrigerated until ready to pop in the oven. It also freezes well (unbaked).
- 3 lbs eggplants
- olive oil
- flour, as needed
- 2 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, well-drained and coarsely chopped (or use fresh if in season)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- sea salt
- 3⁄4 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 10 basil leaves, to taste
- butter, for smearing dish
- 1⁄2 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- Slice eggplant lengthwise 3/8-inch thick.
- Salt both sides, and stack upright in colander.
- Set colander in sink, or set in tray to catch drippings.
- Let sweat for 30 minutes.
- Remove, rinse and pat eggplant dry.
- Place olive oil in pan, about 1 1/2 inches worth.
- Heat until oil is quite hot, but not smoking.
- Dredge eggplant on both sides in flour.
- Place in pan, not overlapping, until golden brown.
- Flip and continue frying until other side is golden brown.
- Remove, drain, and place on paper towels.
- Repeat with remaining eggplant.
- Meanwhile, as eggplant is being fried, place tomatoes, salt and olive oil in another pan.
- Turn to low, or low-medium, and let simmer as you fry the eggplant.
- Cook down until tomatoes are reduced by half.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Smear bottom and sides of (approximately 11X7 baking dish, ceramic preferred) baking dish with butter.
- Place a single layer, overlapping, of eggplant in bottom of dish.
- Dot with cooked tomato.
- Cover with layer of mozzarella, sprinkle quite liberally with grated parm, and snip basil leaves across.
- Repeat process, finishing with a layer of eggplant on top.
- Sprinkle with remaining parm and place dish in upper third of oven.
- Check dish after 20 minutes.
- If there is too much liquid being released, remove excess with spoon.
- Cook for another 15 minutes.
- Let rest before serving.
- For a wonderful freezer meal:.
- To freeze: Cover dish with foil and freeze. When frozen you can pop it out of the container and put in a freezer bag if desired. Individual portions can be cut and microwaved as well for a quick meal!
- To heat: Thaw and preheat oven to 350°F Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more.
A new favorite. I baked the the eggplant because we are avoiding frying. Other than adding garlic to the tomatoes I followed the recipe to the letter. Fresh Mozzarella took it over the top. I served with a side of pasta and roasted asparagus. Great cookin S'kat!
The flavor of this is wonderful but I must have done something wrong. The dish just turned into a mushy, cheesy mess. Is it supposed to be like that or was the eggplant supposed to hold its shape a bit?
I think there's an error in this recipe. If you just pat the eggplant dry after sweating and don't rinse it off this comes out horribly salty.