This was my first time frying eggplant for ‘eggplant parmesan’ and I was happy with the result. Each stack of eggplant pieces is drizzled with gravy, basil leafs, and mozzarella cheese, and then baked until the cheese is melted! There are a lot of steps here because it needs gravy, but they are easy steps – Give it a shot!
- 1 Eggplant – Circles Sliced 1/2 Inch Thick
- 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, or a Mozzarella Ball sliced thin.
- 1 Bunch of Basil (You need about 10 basil leafs total)
- 3 Eggs – Whisked
- 3 Cups All Purpose Flour
- 3 Cups Seasoned Breadcrumbs (I like the 4C brand NOT Panko)
- Non Stick Olive Oil Spray (For Baking the Eggplant)
- 1 Pot of Gravy (1 Onion, 3 Cans Pastene ‘Kitchen Ready’ Tomatoes, 3 cloves garlic, salt/pepper, 3 basil leafs, 1 TBS Dried Oregano)
- Chopped Parsley for Garnish
- 1 Cup Parmigiano Reggiano
For the Gravy:
- Dice 1 onion, and finely chop 3 cloves garlic – set aside
- Heat a large pot with 2 TBS Olive Oil on medium heat, Add chopped onion and season with salt and pepper and oregano.
- Let the onion sweat for about 5 minutes. (While this is going on, open the 3 cans of Pastene Tomatoes so they are ready)
- Add the garlic to the pot and sauté for 1 minute (Make sure not to burn the garlic)
- Add 1 can of the tomatoes. Season with 1 TBS Salt and Pepper and add basil leafs. Stir.
- Add remaining 2 cans of tomatoes. Stir.
- Fill 1 can (the cans the tomatoes came in) with cold tap water (fill the entire can) and pour it into the sauce to thin it out. Add another TBS Salt and TBS Oregano. Stir.
- Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for 2 hours. Keep adding half a can of water every 30 min. It’s an add and reduce game to form flavor. Stir every 15 minutes.
For the Eggplant:
- Slice the eggplant 1/2 inch thick, season with salt and pepper
- Set up a station for dipping: 1 plate with 3 cups of all purpose flour, 1 plate with 3 eggs whisked, and another station with 3 cups seasoned 4C breadcrumbs.
- 1 at a time, dip the eggplant into flour, then into the egg, then into the breadcrumbs then place on a clean plate. Repeat until you have coated all eggplant slices.
- Heat a sauté pan on medium-high heat with enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan – about 1/4 of an inch as this is a shallow fry.
- At the same time, pre heat oven to 350 degrees
- When the oil is hot, fry the eggplant pieces. About 3-5 minutes per side (until they are browned).
- Set fried eggplant aside on a paper towel lined sheet, season with 1 tsp salt.
- Spray a baking sheet with non stick olive oil spray
- Place a piece off eggplant on the sheet, cover with gravy, about 2 TBS Shredded mozzarella cheese, 1 tsp parmigiano reggiano cheese, and 1 basil leaf. Repeat another layer (you want 3 pieces total).
- Top off the top of the stacks with more mozzarella cheese, and bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese has browned. Feel free to broil at the end to darken the cheese even more.
- Get a serving plate, and ladle gravy onto the plate and spread it out
- Place a stack of eggplant Parmesan in the middle
- Top off with parsley and more parmigiano reggiano and serve!