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Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

by
Krista S

Introduction:

Eggplant Parmesan is a classic Italian dish that is loved by people all over the world. Made with breaded and baked eggplant, this dish is hearty, filling, and delicious. If you’re looking for a dish that is both tasty and easy to prepare, then this recipe is for you. In this post, we’ll be sharing everything you need to know to make the perfect Eggplant Parmesan. From the benefits of the food to some interesting facts, we’ve got you covered.

Benefits of Eggplant Parmesan:

Eggplant Parmesan is a dish that is packed with benefits. For one, it’s a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, potassium, and folate. Additionally, eggplant is low in calories and high in fiber, making it a great option for those looking to maintain a healthy diet. The cheese used in the dish is also a good source of protein and calcium.

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Interesting facts about Eggplant Parmesan:

Did you know that Eggplant Parmesan is actually not a dish that originated in Italy? It’s believed that the dish was first made in the United States by Italian immigrants. Additionally, the dish is traditionally made with mozzarella cheese, but other cheeses such as provolone or Parmesan can also be used.  Even though the dish originated in Italy, China leads the world in exports.

How healthy is Eggplant Parmesan?

Eggplant Parmesan is a relatively healthy dish, especially when compared to other Italian dishes. As mentioned before, eggplant is low in calories and high in fiber. Additionally, the dish is baked, not fried, which reduces the overall fat content. However, the cheese used in the dish does add some calories and fat, so it’s important to keep portions in check.

Is it better to peel eggplant for eggplant parmesan?

Whether to peel an eggplant for eggplant parmesan is largely a matter of personal preference and can depend on the specific variety of eggplant you’re using.

Peeling the eggplant can make the texture softer and more uniform, which some people prefer. It’s also a good choice if you’re using a larger, older eggplant or a variety of eggplant that has a tougher skin, as the skin can sometimes be slightly bitter.

On the other hand, leaving the skin on adds a bit of color and texture to the dish, and it has nutritional benefits as well. The skin of the eggplant contains a good amount of fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients. If you’re using a younger, smaller eggplant or a variety with a thinner skin, you might find that leaving the skin on works just fine.

In the end, whether you choose to peel your eggplant for eggplant parmesan comes down to your personal preference for texture and appearance, the specific type of eggplant you’re using, and whether you want to include the added nutrients found in the skin.

Ingredient substitutions:

If you’re looking to make a healthier version of Eggplant Parmesan, there are a few ingredient substitutions you can make. For example, you can use low-fat mozzarella cheese or skip the cheese altogether. You can also use whole-wheat breadcrumbs instead of regular breadcrumbs for added fiber.

To make baked eggplant parmesan, you’ll need the following three key appliances:

1. Knife and Cutting Board: A sharp knife and a sturdy cutting board are essential for slicing the eggplant into even, thin slices. This ensures even cooking and helps with the texture of the final dish.

2. Frying Pan or Skillet: If you’re frying the breaded eggplant slices before baking, you’ll need a frying pan or skillet. A non-stick pan is recommended for easy frying and turning of the eggplant slices, ensuring a crisp and golden-brown crust.

3. Oven: An oven is necessary for baking the assembled eggplant parmesan dish. A preheated oven at around 350°F (180°C) will help melt the cheese, heat the sauce, and finish cooking the eggplant to create the perfect baked eggplant parmesan.

While these are the key appliances required for making baked eggplant parmesan, additional tools like mixing bowls, a whisk, and a baking dish will be helpful in preparing and assembling the meal.

Good luck!

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Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe


  • Author: Krista
  • Total Time: 8 minute
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

Looking for a classic Italian dish that is both hearty and delicious? Look no further than this recipe for Eggplant Parmesan! This dish is made with breaded and baked eggplant, and is perfect for any occasion. Learn about the benefits of this food, some interesting facts, and how healthy it is. Plus, discover some possible ingredient substitutions and follow our easy-to-follow cooking instructions. Bon appétit!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 large eggplants, sliced into
  • 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 cups Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray


Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
  3. Mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl.
  4. Dip each eggplant slice into the breadcrumb mixture, making sure to coat both sides.
  5. Place the coated eggplant slices onto the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the eggplant is tender and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
  7. In a 9×13 inch baking dish, spread a layer of marinara sauce.
  8. Add a layer of the baked eggplant slices.
  9. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese and chopped basil.
  10. Repeat the layers until all the ingredients are used up, making sure to end with a layer of cheese.
  11. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  12. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.
  13. Let the dish cool for a few minutes before serving.

Notes

1. Properly Preparing the Eggplant: Before baking, it’s essential to slice the eggplant evenly and salt the slices to draw out excess moisture. This helps to prevent the eggplant from becoming soggy during baking and ensures a better texture. After salting, rinse the slices and pat them dry to remove excess salt.

2. Breading and Frying: For a crispy crust, coat the eggplant slices in flour, beaten egg, and breadcrumbs before frying them in a thin layer of oil. Frying the breaded eggplant slices until they’re golden brown on each side will create a crisp exterior that holds up well in the baked dish. Alternatively, you can also bake the breaded slices for a lighter option, but make sure to flip them halfway through for even browning.

3. Layering and Baking: When assembling the baked eggplant parmesan, layer the fried or baked eggplant slices with marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese. Be mindful of the sauce-to-eggplant ratio to avoid a soggy final dish. Finally, bake the assembled dish in a preheated oven at around 350°F (180°C) until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and golden brown, typically for 25-35 minutes. Let it rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld and the dish to set.

  • Prep Time: 10-15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40-50 minutes

Why is my eggplant parmesan soggy?

If you made this recipe and your end result was a bit soggy, there could be a variety of reasons.

1. Not Salting the Eggplant: Eggplant holds a lot of water, which can make your dish soggy. One way to prevent this is by salting the eggplant slices before you cook them. This process, known as “sweating,” draws out some of the water from the eggplant. After salting the slices, let them sit for about an hour, then rinse and pat dry before using.

2. Insufficient Draining: Even after sweating, eggplant can still release water while it cooks. After frying the breaded eggplant slices, make sure to drain them well on paper towels to remove excess oil, which can contribute to sogginess.

3. Overcrowding the Pan: When frying the eggplant slices, overcrowding the pan can cause the temperature of the oil to drop too much, leading to the eggplant absorbing more oil and becoming soggy. Fry in smaller batches to maintain the oil’s temperature.

4. Layering While Hot: If you layer the eggplant slices while they’re still hot, they can steam each other and become soggy. Allow the slices to cool a bit before layering them in your dish.

5. Too Much Sauce: While sauce is an important part of eggplant Parmesan, using too much can make the dish soggy. Try to use just enough to cover the eggplant slices, but not so much that it’s pooling in the bottom of the dish.

6. Not Baking Long Enough: Finally, make sure to bake your eggplant Parmesan long enough. The baking process helps to evaporate some of the moisture, so if it’s undercooked, it could end up soggy.

By addressing these factors, you should be able to prevent your eggplant Parmesan from becoming soggy.  The best way to perfect any recipe is to be prepared to try and try again.  Only through failure can you improve!

Want to have a recipe published?  Simply go to our Contact Page, scroll down and fill out the submission form.  We look forward to reading about your favorite dishes!

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