Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients
For eggplant
  • 3 medium eggplants, sliced into coins
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 c. milk (or water)
  • 4 c. Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 c. Parmesan, divided
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 c. shredded mozzarella 

     

  • Vegetable oil, for frying

     

  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
For the marinara
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 (28-oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. torn basil leaves
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano 
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Directions
  1. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. Season eggplant slices all over with salt and place on baking sheet in a single layer. Top with another layer of paper towels and continue to layer as needed. Let sit for 45 minutes to release excess moisture.
  2. Make marinara: In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and cook until tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes, basil, and dried oregano to pot. Fill one can about halfway with water, swirl to release excess tomatoes, and add to pot. Simmer 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead.)
  3. Preheat oven to 350° and fit a baking sheet with a wire rack. Add flour to a shallow bowl. Whisk eggs and milk in another shallow bowl. In a third shallow bowl, whisk together panko, ½ cup Parmesan, and dried oregano. Working in batches, toss eggplant in flour, then dip in eggs and dredge in panko mixture. Place on wire rack.
  4. In a large high-sided skillet over medium heat, heat about ¼” oil. When oil is shimmering, add eggplant in a single layer and cook until deeply golden on both sides, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to wire rack and blot with paper towels. Let cool slightly.
  5. In a large baking dish, spread a thin layer of sauce. Top with a layer of eggplant slices, trimming as needed, then drizzle with more sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan on top. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients.
  6. Cover with foil and bake on a rimmed baking sheet until the cheese is melted and the eggplant is tender, about 40 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley before serving.
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