I have a confession to make. Sometimes a new meal will go into my rotation and I won’t make it for several weeks. Every Sunday I check the planned meals from my rotation and I don’t always feel like venturing into the unknown. Especially when it’s one of those weeks!
That’s what happened with Eggplant Parmesan. A few times now I’ve swapped it out with a tried and true dish for Tuesday’s Italian night. There’s always that fear that no one but me will like it, and my husband is less enthused about no-meat dishes (unless it has beans). If a meal is totally new territory for me, I will make it when the kids are at school.
I’ve never cooked with eggplant and have always liked it the times I’ve eaten it. Every time I’d see those beautiful eggplants at the store a rush of guilt would hit me. I like to at least try to cook most vegetables (dietitian guilt, I know, I need to get over it!).
So one Tuesday when we had only one kid home for dinner I finally made it. I had saved this recipe from Simply Recipes, and didn’t feel the need to change it too much. The eggplant stage was a bit time consuming but next time I’ll have my kids help. Basically, you cut the eggplant into rounds and dredge it in flour, egg, and bread crumbs. I skipped the step of letting the eggplant sit for 2 hours, but may try this next time. Then you bake the eggplant for 30 minutes.
While it’s baking you make the sauce. After the eggplant and sauce are done, you layer it like lasagna. A definite make-ahead meal.
It turned out pretty good, and was even better the next day. You know how I can tell my husband likes it? He accepts it for his lunch the next day. Little D stared at it like it was a foreign object so definitely will have him help make it next time.
Do you make eggplant parmesan? Any other eggplant recipes to share?
- 2 medium eggplants (just over 2 pounds)
- kosher salt
- 1½ cup bread crumbs
- 1¼ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- ¾ cup flour
- 4 eggs beaten
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano style)
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil or 1 Tbsp. dried
- ¼ tsp salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1½ pounds fresh
mozzerella, sliced into ¼-inch slices
- Preheat oven to 425F. Slice eggplant into ¼-1/2-inch rounds and sprinkle with salt. You can let the eggplant sit for 2 hours to release moisture (see original recipe).
- Make bread crumb mixture in a bowl, beat eggs in another bowl and place flour in a third bowl. Dredge the eggplant in the flour, egg and then bread crumbs and line on an oiled sheet pan or spray with cooking spray. Drizzle each eggplant slice with a little olive oil. Bake at 425F for about 20 minutes or until golden.
- While the eggplant is cooking, make the sauce. In a saucepan over medium heat, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil with the garlic. Once the garlic sizzles, add the tomatoes (juices included) and turn up
heatuntil it starts to boil. After it boils, turn down the heat allowing a low simmer for about 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper, and basil, and remove from heat.
- Once the eggplant has cooled, layer the ingredients in a 9x13-inch casserole dish. Spread ½ cup sauce on the bottom and layer with one-third eggplant slices. Layer half of the sliced
mozzarellaon top of the eggplant rounds. Sprinkle with ⅓ cup parmesan cheese. Place another third of the eggplant rounds over the cheese. This time spread 1 cup sauce over the eggplant and layer the rest of the sliced cheese over the sauce. For the last layer add the rest of the eggplant rounds, remaining sauce, and parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 350F for 35 minutes.
I’m definitely going to try this… did you serve this dish with any sides?
This is my go-to Eggplant Parmesan recipe: https://www.budgetbytes.com/2015/12/eggplant-parmesan-pasta/
I’ve actually added a can of lentils to the pasta along with the jar of pasta sauce to increase the protein (and because I am a vegetarian, this is something I do fairly regularly!).
Maryann Tomovich Jacobsen, MS, RD says
I served it with salad and cut up fruit/and bread. I love budget bytes so may have to give that recipe a try. I also like the idea of adding lentils. Do you just make them plain or add seasoning to them?