Culinary Corner: Eggplant Parmesan

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Culinary Corner: Eggplant Parmesan

Mr. Hartman, Adviser

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Eggplant parmesan is a great make ahead meal that reheats really well; full of big flavors and extremely comforting after a long day. What follows is my take on this classic dish.

Ingredients:

1 large eggplant or two smaller eggplants

3 medium eggs

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can spaghetti sauce

1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

5 tablespoons of oregano

4 tablespoons garlic powder

3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Recipe:

The first step is to prepare the eggplant. Peel the eggplant and slice into 1/4 inch thick slices. Now, opinions vary on how best to ‘sweat’ eggplant. In my experience, submerging the eggplant slices in a saltwater solution for about twenty minutes and then laying them on a paper towel and patting them dry yields the best result. At this point you should probably preheat the oven to 350.

Once the eggplant is prepared, beat two eggs in a bowl large enough to dredge the eggplant in, in another bowl mix the panko, two tablespoons of oregano and two tablespoons of garlic powder.

Dip each slice in egg and then coat in panko and arrange on a baking sheet. I use parchment paper but, if you don’t have parchment, lightly oil the baking sheet.

Bake eggplant in 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Use vegetable oil to grease a 9×13 casserole dish. Pour about half the can of diced tomatoes into the dish, sprinkle one or two tablespoons of oregano over the tomatoes along with one or two tablespoons of garlic powder. Then sprinkle 1/4 cup of parmesan in the dish.

Begin the first layer by arranging the smaller slices as closely and tightly as you can, saving the larger pieces for the top layer. Once the first layer is firmly packed, pour the remaining diced tomatoes on the eggplant and spread the sauce, then repeat the steps above with the garlic, oregano, and cheese.

Arrange the larger pieces of eggplant on the top layer. Pour the spaghetti sauce on top of the larger eggplant pieces and spread. Sprinkle whatever herbs and spices you have left. And then top with mozzarella cheese. If you have any fresh herbs like parsley or basil (I had basil) sprinkle them on top of the mozzarella.

Bake casserole in the 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Let the dish sit for five to seven minutes before slicing and serving. Leftovers can be wrapped and refrigerated and will keep for about four or five days in the fridge.

 

 

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