Eggplant Parmesan was a staple food for me when I was a vegetarian. I hadn’t had it for a long while so I decided to re-introduce myself with this classic comfort food. It is fairly easy to make and quite filling!
The main trick to Eggplant Parmesan is allowing the moisture in the eggplant to be absorbed before cooking. The easiest way to do this is to cut the eggplant into half inch wide disks and cover them in sea salt. Line a colander with the eggplant and place a heavy bowl on top to press out the moisture. I do this for a minimum of 30 minutes to a maximum of 2 hours. Once the liquid has drained, remove the salt with a paper towel and press the juices off the surface of the eggplant. Now you are ready to cook!
3 Roma tomatoes
1/2 a red bell pepper
4 sundried tomatoes (either from a jar or re-hydrated)
3 garlic cloves
1/2 a medium yellow onion, diced
1 Tbsp. oregano
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1Tsp. hot sauce
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tsp. sugar
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. oregano
2 Tbsp. flour
1 cup of Panko bread crumbs
3 Tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
In a food processor blend tomatoes, red pepper and sundried tomatoes until smooth. Add oregano, balsamic vinegar, hot sauce, sugar and tomato paste and blend until they are well combined.
In a medium sized pot heat up olive oil on medium high heat. Add onions and cook until they are translucent. Add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add tomato puree to pot and bring to a boil. Turn down heat and let simmer uncovered for about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 F
In the meantime, prepare the eggplant. In a shallow bowl mix the eggs with oregano and fill a separate bowl with bread crumbs. Cover the eggplant with flour, dip each piece in the egg mixture and then cover with bread crumbs.
Heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Fry the eggplant on each side in batches until golden brown.
In a glass oven safe dish, coat the bottom with 1/4 of the tomato sauce. Place 1/3 of the fried eggplant into the dish and cover with 1/4 more sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and repeat until all the eggplant has been used. Top with sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes.
You can serve the Eggplant on a bed of pasta or on it’s own with a side salad. Enjoy!