Baked Eggplant Parmesan

>> Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Adapted from Whole Foods Market

1 large eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick pieces (about eight)
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
2 cage-free eggs, lightly beaten
EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) for brushing
2/3 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
homemade Marinara sauce (See recipe below)
1 cup light shredded Mozzarella cheese

Sprinkle the eggplant slices with kosher salt and let them sit in a colander for about 30 minutes to allow drain, then rinse off and pat dry with a paper towel.  This will release some of its moisture.  Preheat oven with a baking sheet inside to 375°F.  Combine panko crumbs, half of Parmigiano-Reggiano, season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, and stir in a shallow.  Lightly beat eggs in a second shallow.  Working with 1 eggplant slice at a time.  Dip eggplant slice in beaten egg, then dredge in panko crumbs until evenly coated.  Brush EVOO on hot baking sheet and place eggplant slice on it in a single layer.  Repeat with the remaining slices.  Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes or until panko crumbs are browned and eggplant is tendered.  Remove from the oven.

Increase oven temperature to 400°F. In an 8 x 10 baking dish, layer Marinara sauce, then eggplant, and top with Mozzarella cheese.   Continue layering with remaining eggplant slices, sauce, and mozzarella. (be careful not to overdo the sauce--I used about half of sauce).  Sprinkle top with remaining Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden in spots, about 15-20 minutes.  Serve alone or with nice side salad or over little pasta with sauce.   Enjoy! 

Homemade Marinara Sauce (See note)
1 (28 oz.) whole plum tomatoes
2 tablespoons EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Puree whole plum tomatoes in a blender.   Heat EVOO in a heavy pot over medium heat until hot, but not smoking, then add garlic and saute, stirring, until golden, about 30 seconds. Add tomato puree, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and sea salt and freshly cracked pepper and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 25 to 30 minutes.  If you have leftover sauce, you can freeze the sauce for later use.

Note:  You can either make a homemade marinara sauce or purchase a jar of pasta sauce of your choice.


Anonymous,  April 28, 2010 at 6:51 AM  

I tried to replicate Whole Foods version before but yours looks much better- Happy cooking Sadia and keep it up! As they say, you'll find one's heart through his stomach.

:) Laila

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