I’m baaaaack! But this isn’t the official “I’m baaaaaack” post. This is the “dang it, I forgot to finish this post before I left on vacation” post. It is very fitting, however, because I just returned last night from a two week Mediterranean vacation with my husband and his family. The trip included Italy, Egypt, Israel, Greece, and Croatia. It all sounds very romantic, doesn’t it? I’ll leave you with that little delusion for now; more about the trip later.
Eggplant kept turning up in dishes throughout the Mediterranean and I must confess, I liked them all. I would give you recipes for everything except that a lot of the time I couldn’t even pronounce the name of the dish I was eating much less identify the ingredients. So, for now, I’ll just share this eggplant parmesan recipe with you and tell you that it is rich and hearty and wonderful. It is slightly lower in fat than traditional eggplant parmesan because the eggplant is baked, not fried.
Maybe not finishing this post before I left on vacation was a blessing, of sorts. It gives me the perfect excuse to sit here in my comfy bed with my laptop, take a water pill, and wait for the mega swelling in my legs to go down. Plus, I’m really tired. Tuesday, the 19th of October lasted 32 hours for me. Seriously. That’s what happens when you cross a gazillion time zones. As I think about it, it was a lot nicer to gain 8 hours than to lose 8 hours; confusing but nice. Oh, and hey, I just thought of it…the 19th marked my blog’s 3 month blogiversary!
Recipe by Terri @ that’s some good cookin’
- 2-3 eggplants
- 2 cups grated fresh parmesan cheese
- 2 cups grated mozzarella
- 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes in puree (fire roasted if you can get them)
- 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dry basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dry parsley
- 1 teaspoon white sugar
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- olive oil
Breading for eggplant
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Slice eggplant into 1/2″ slices. Sprinkle both sides of each slice with salt. Place eggplant slices in colander and place the colander on a plate. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. This will cause the eggplant to “sweat”, releasing excess moisture.
While the eggplant is sweating, prepare the sauce. In a deep frying pan, over medium heat, saute the onion and fresh garlic in about 2 tablespoons olive oil until the onion is translucent. Stir occasionally while cooking.
Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, parsley, sugar, granulated garlic, and granulated onion. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Lower heat to low and simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, for about 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
Rinse eggplant thoroughly under running water. Pat dry with paper towels.
Mix the seasoned- and panko- breadcrumbs in a bowl. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk the eggs and 1 tablespoon water together. Line a baking sheet with foil and brush the foil with olive oil.
Dip each eggplant slice in the breadcrumbs, then in the egg/water mixture, then back in the breadcrumbs. Place on oiled baking sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil over the tops of eggplant prior to baking. OR you can lightly spray the tops of the eggplant slices with olive oil cooking spray. Bake the eggplant until golden brown, about 20-30 minutes.
To assemble: Lower oven to 375-degrees. In a 3-quart baking dish, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish. Place a layer of eggplant on the sauce. Sprinkle the eggplant slices with parmesan cheese, then with mozzarella. Top with a layer of tomato sauce. Repeat until all eggplant slices have been used. End with a layer of any remaining sauce and top with remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Bake at 350-degrees F for 30 minutes until cheese is golden and sauce is bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 10 minutes prior to serving.