Cooktop Cove: Begin by frying eggplant slices to create a delicious, classic meatless meal
By Jess Valentine
Eggplant is one of those vegetables that not everyone grew up eating. When they do, it's usually in the form of eggplant parmigiana. In the recipe below, you'll find a delicious eggplant parmigiana that's easy to make and yummy to eat.
We start by mixing breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. You can use seasoned breadcrumbs if you like, but we prefer to use panko for this recipe. First we dip the eggplant in flour to help the beaten eggs stick to the eggplant. Then we dip it into the panko and Parmesan cheese mixture. After shallow-frying the eggplant, we let it sit on a rack to drip off excess oil. Add ready-made marinara sauce and layers of mozzarella cheese, and into the oven it goes. Serve with a hot slice of garlic bread and a salad, and you've got a complete meal!
Eggplant parmigiana
Servings: 6
1 to 2 cups oil for frying
4 medium-size eggplant, cut into ½-inch-thick rounds
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten
2 24-ounce jars marina sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 bunch basil, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Heat oil for frying in a frying pan.
3. In a dish or large bowl, mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
4. While the oil is coming to temperature, begin breading your eggplant. First, dip each round into flour and tap off any excess. Dip into the beaten eggs, then into the breadcrumb mixture until evenly coated.
5. When all your eggplant is ready, begin frying each side until golden brown. Do so in batches as needed.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper as soon as they come out of the oil. Set them aside on a rack or on paper towels to drain excess oil.
6. Spread just enough marinara sauce to cover the bottom of a casserole dish.
7. Make even layers of eggplant, pour on more sauce and top with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil.
8. Repeat the layers, making sure to end with cheese on top. Save the last of the basil for after cooking.
9. Bake in oven for 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown and bubbly.
10. Top with the last of the basil and serve.
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