Monday, August 30, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

I bought a very nice, medium sized Italian eggplant at the Farmers Market at the PA Farm Show Complex last week. I bought it specifically for making eggplant parmesan.

I was quick to slice it up to let it sweat because I had a hungry boy to feed so I didn't get a photo of it before it was sliced.

There are so many recipes out there for eggplant parm. I just wanted it to be extra crispy and not soggy. And, well, I succeeded! This was a great dinner - Adam loved it even after being skeptical that there was no meat involved!

Mary found me this recipe that was adapted from Cooks Illustrated.

Serves 2 or 3 but can be easily doubled.

For eggplant:

1 globe or Italian eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

For assembling the dish:

1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
1 cup whole milk mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped, for garnish

Place a baking sheet on center rack in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees

Toss eggplant slices with kosher salt in a large bowl until combined; transfer salted eggplant to a large colander set over a bowl - make sure the slices are in flat layers. Let stand until eggplant releases about 1 tablespoon of liquid, about 30 minutes. Arrange eggplant slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible, then wipe off excess salt.

In a shallow bowl, combine bread crumbs, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, 1/8 salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside.

In another shallow bowl, combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Beat eggs in a third shallow bowl.

Remove baking sheet from oven and coat with 3 tablespoons oil.

With each eggplant slice, dredge in flour, dip in eggs and then coat with bread crumbs. Continue with all eggplant slices and arrange on the oil-coated baking sheet.

Bake until eggplant is well browned and crisp, about 25-30 minutes, flipping slices half way through baking.

Do not turn off oven.

Spread 1 cup tomato sauce in the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking dish. Place a layer of the eggplant slices in the baking dish; distribute 1 cup sauce over eggplant; sprinkle with half the mozzarella. Layer in the remaining eggplant and dot with some sauce, leaving majority of eggplant exposed so it will remain crisp; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining mozarella. Bake until bubbling and cheese is browned, 13-15 minutes. Cool 10 minutes; scatter basil over top and serve with remaining tomato sauce, on the side if needed.

I received a bottle of La Familia Del Grosso's Uncle Fred's Fireworks Sauce at the Taste of the Nation event in Philadelphia. We used it with the eggplant and it was soo good! I was pleasantly surprised! It has a lot of spice to it but in a very tasty, refined way. I am definitely going to look for this sauce in the grocery store!

And Del Grosso is a Pennsylvania company!

We ate our eggplant with spaghetti.


  1. Woohoo DelGrosso! It's right down the street from my house.

  2. Isn't DelGrosso from the Altoona area? I thought my roommate from college, who is from there, told me so.

  3. I am proud to announce that I made this recipe straight from your blog last night for my dad and Jesse. It was a HIT! Thank you!!