Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter E

What’s Cooking in Gail’s Kitchen? Eggplant Parmesan! This incredible dish is the perfect substitute for lasagna. It is hearty and filling without all the pasta. If you’ve never cooked with eggplant before, pay attention to a little hint. This healthy vegetable can absorb moisture and oil like a sponge, so it requires advance preparation before baking. Slice the raw eggplant (skin on), place on several layers of paper towels, and salt it. The salt will draw moisture out. This takes about 2 hours. First problem solved. The second, instead of frying it in oil, bake the slices in a single layer before assembling into a casserole. 

1 Eggplant

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 pound Fresh Mozzarella 

1/4 cup shaved Parmesan Cheese

3/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon Herbs de Provence

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/3 cup flour

2 eggs, beaten

1 tablespoon milk

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 28 oz. whole peeled tomatoes, diced and reserve juices

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

1/2 teaspoon oregano 

1/2 teaspoon marjoram 

1/4 cup fresh basil

While eggplant is “resting”, make the sauce. Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil on medium heat. Add the minced garlic and gently cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the tomatoes and their juices, sugar, marjoram, and oregano. Increase heat to simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered. Add the minced basil and remove from heat. 
Combine the breading dry ingredients. Set aside. In a shallow bowl, mix the beaten eggs and milk. Preheat the oven to 400°. Spray the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet pan with non-stick oil. Pat dry each eggplant slice. Dip in egg mixture, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture. Place on prepared sheet pan, single layer. Drizzle a little olive oil over the top of each eggplant round. Place the breaded eggplant slices in oven. Bake 10 minutes per side. They should be lightly browned. Let cool slightly. Remove from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350°. In a casserole dish spread 1/2 the tomato sauce over the bottom. Divide the eggplant in order to layer the rounds with mozzarella on top of each layer. Top with remaining sauce and shaved Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes before cutting to serve. 

25 thoughts on “Eating My Way Through the Alphabet: Letter E

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