Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan 

Lately at the farmers market they have had gorgeous eggplants. I’ve never been much of a vegetable lover but I’ve always loved the color of eggplant. It just looks so rich and delicious!

Jamie of Life’s a Feast recently blogged about eggplant saying, “I adore eggplant, brilliant, deep violet skin like the darkest of garnets or a rich, ruby red wine. Voluptuous eggplants, firm, dense and curvaceous, hinting of Old World decadence and gorgeous, fleshy women draped sensually across red velvet sofas. Slice through them and breath in the fresh scent, stare at the white, white flesh. Once considered dangerous, thought to induce insanity or, worse, to be a powerful aphrodisiac, I love touching these gorgeous beings, ogling them, stroking them and cooking them. I have been dreaming of a luscious Eggplant Parmesan, the eggplant thinly sliced and flash fried snuggling down deep in a thick, heady, fragrant tomato sauce, layered between meltingly hot, gooey cheese.”

I was breathless just reading about it. How could I resist making it when those gorgeous eggplants were just waiting for me at the farmers market.

And I wasn’t disappointed. The recipe is fabulous! I made a few changes to accommodate what I had on hand. My version is below, but be sure and stop by Jamie’s (my wonderful French blogging buddy) and read her beautifully written post and see her gorgeous step by step photos and instructions. Thanks for sharing this one Jamie. It is definitely a keeper!

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients

    For the homemade Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15 – 20 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 x 15 oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Eggplant Parmesan:
  • The homemade Tomato Sauce
  • 2 large, firm eggplants
  • 1 ½ cups grated mozzarella
  • 1 – 2 cups grated Parmesan
  • Flour for dredging
  • Vegetable or olive oil for frying

Directions

    Make the Tomato Sauce:
  1. Combine onion, garlic, basil, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a large, heavy pot with a lid. Simmer for five minutes over medium heat, stirring, and then add the crushed tomato. Season with salt and pepper and let simmer for about 30 - 40 minutes with the lid on but allowing about ¼-inch to allow steam to escape. It should be flavorful and thickened. Set aside until you're ready to layer it with the eggplant. The sauce is best when it's made in advance.
  2. Prepare the eggplant:
  3. Peel the eggplant and slice off and discard the 2 ends of each. Slice the eggplant lengthwise evenly into ¼ to ½ - inch slices, salt both sides, then let them sit for 20 minutes. This draws out the moisture. After 20 minutes, rinse, and then pat dry with a kitchen towel.
  4. In a large skillet, heat about half-inch of oil. Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, coating both sides and shaking off the excess. Fry the slices in batches, a couple of minutes on each side, until golden. Remove slices to a plate while you fry the rest of the batches.
  5. Prepare the Eggplant Parmesan:
  6. Preheat the oven to 400°F. In the bottom of a large baking pan or dish, spread one ladleful of Tomato Sauce to cover the bottom. Layer, overlapping, half of the eggplant slices on top of the sauce.
  7. Ladle on half of the remaining Tomato Sauce, spreading to cover the eggplant slices evenly. Sprinkle on half of the grated Parmesan cheese then layer on half of the mozzarella to cover.
  8. Repeat with the rest of the eggplant slices, then the rest of the sauce, the rest of the parmesan and finally cover it all with the remaining mozzarella.
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
http://www.barbarabakes.com/2009/09/eggplant-parmesan/




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Comments

    Leave a Comment:

  1. Deeba @Passionate About Baking says

    That's just a wonderful recipe, nd you've done a great job Barbara. I could just dig in. Love Jamie's blog & her French spirit!

  2. Sasha says

    Oh Barbara, what wouldn't be delicious "snuggling down deep in a thick, heady, fragrant tomato sauce, layered between meltingly hot, gooey cheese?"

    Looks great : )

  3. the ungourmet says

    I loved that post of Jamie's! Your lasagna turned out wonderfully! I really want to give this a try. I'm trying to give eggplant another chance.

  4. Katy says

    I've only had eggplant Parmesan at restaurants, but I LOVE it. I've been looking for a good at-home recipe for a while. This one looks awesome!

  5. Cinnamon Girl aka Reeni♥ says

    Jamie is such a great writer! I think she could convince to like even our most despised foods! Your eggplant look so delicious – and it stayed together wonderfully! Mine usually slides apart when I cut it.

  6. Juliana says

    I love eggplant :-) and this dish is a winner…I'll definitely try since I have a couple of eggplants in my fridge…look forward to make it…yummie!

  7. FabFrugalFood says

    I was never interested in making Eggplant Parmesan . . . until now!

    Looks almost like an Eggplant Lasagna. Will put this on my "must-make" list this fall.

  8. Cathy says

    You've got my my watering, Barbara. I've just put eggplant on my farmers market shopping list for tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe.

  9. Joyce says

    I had no idea it caused insanity so that must be why I am such a nut since I eat this once or twice a month:) One of my all time favorite meals.
    Joyce

  10. Jamie says

    WOW! You have taken my breath away, my dear friend! I am so glad you made this wonderful recipe and enjoyed it as much as I did. Beautiful! Thanks so much for this and I am so glad that you are my friend.