Eggplant Parmesan is an any-season party dish
There is something about buying farm eggplant in the summer. The eggplant is so sweet, rich yet light and very versatile.
I have been making eggplant Parmesan since I was about 13 years old. Eggplant Parmesan is a fantastic any-season evening meal or a nice light summer party dish. Served with your favorite green salad, eggplant Parmesan is a wonderful recipe to know how to make.
Once you know the basics for Parmesan, you can vary this recipe by making chicken Parmesan, veal Parmesan, or even chicken meatballs Parmesan with a little recipe tweaking. You can change out homemade sauce for store bought.
Try to find a few extra minutes maybe on a Saturday or Sunday. Make a pot of your own sauce and freeze some in plastic containers or even zip-close freezer bags for future use.
As long as you know the basic steps to creating eggplant Parmesan, this recipe is just about foolproof each time.
I am so happy that our family loves eating eggplant Parmesan just as much as I love making it. Support local farms and buy some fresh eggplant soon while summer is still here.
Have fun making some crowd-pleasing and decadent yet light eggplant Parmesan. Stacked Parmesan is even more fun to serve and looks restaurant quality.
Eggplant Parmesan is a classic, traditional recipe.
Make this dish your own and find a reason to call it special and new.
1 large size eggplant, peeled and sliced approximately ¼ inch thick (or to your liking)
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup of flour
2 cups of plain panko breadcrumbs
½ cup of oil such as sunflower oil
Your favorite red sauce such as a marinara (recipe included)
Mozzarella to taste, grated or sliced thinly
Parmesan, finely grated and amount to taste
2 28-ounce cans of peeled whole San Marsano tomatoes
2 tablespoons of basil, freshly chopped (I buy a plant in spring, early summer to have fresh on hand.)
1 teaspoon of oregano, dry is fine
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
1 tablespoon of tomato paste (I use the tube paste and store it in the refrigerator.)
1 teaspoon of sugar (optional)
Peel and slice the eggplant into ¼-inch rounds. Place rounds on paper towels, and sprinkle both sides with salt lightly. Let sit for about 15 minutes to draw out any bitterness and moisture from the eggplant. Dip each piece into flour, then the egg, lastly the panko breadcrumbs. Set aside until ready to fry.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pan fry the eggplant in a very small amount of canola oil or a seed oil in a nonstick skillet, oven medium high heat. Fry until golden brown as you like. Place the tender fried eggplant on paper towels to drain any access oil.
Prepare a parchment lined baking sheet for your eggplant towers.
Once you are all done with the eggplant and prepping the baking tray, begin to build your layers of eggplant for each guest at the table. You should have about four individual servings and 4-5 rounds per serving.
The layers bottom to top are eggplant, sauce, mozzarella to taste and then sprinkle with Parmesan to taste.
Remember you can use as little or much of the cheese as you would like. There are no set amounts.
Set each tower onto the baking sheet. Bake uncovered for approximately 10-15 minutes or the cheese melty to your liking. Top with a few fresh basil leaves and a drizzle of olive oil if you wish.
Serve oven to table, with your favorite green salad.