Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan

I rarely order this dish in a restaurant.  Most of the time it's gooey, bland and swimming in a watery tomato sauce.  Yuck!  But I wanted to try and make it at home with vegetables from my garden.  God knows I have enough eggplant!

And in my freezer, I've got several batches of that fire roasted tomato sauce I blogged about a couple of days ago.  So I searched my cookbooks and the internet and hoped to find a good, easy recipe.  And I found one on  Of course, I wouldn't be "me" unless I tweaked the recipe a little bit to reflect what "I" (and wonderful hubby) like!

So here is my version of Summer Eggplant Parmesan.  It's not a simple-throw-together-quickly-on-a-weeknight-recipe, but it's not that difficult either.  It just takes a little time.

Summer Eggplant Parmesan 
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
2 (1 pound) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch thick slices

1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic or pressed through garlic press (about 2 cloves)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 16 oz container whole milk (or part-skim) ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Remaining Ingredients:
1 24 oz jar premium pasta sauce (or homemade)
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 ounces thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preheat oven to 375F.

To make eggplant:
Combine 2 eggs and 1 tablespoon water in shallow bowl.
Combine panko and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a second shallow dish.
Dip eggplant in egg mixture, dredge in panko mixture, pressing gently to adhere and shaking off excess.
Place eggplant 1 inch apart on foil lined baking sheet, coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or so until golden, turning once and rotating baking sheet after 15 minutes

To make filling:
Combine basil and next 6 ingredients.  Set aside.

To assemble:
Spoon 1/2 cup pasta sauce in bottom of a 9 x 13" glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Layer 1/2 of eggplant slices over pasta sauce.
Sprinkle eggplant with 1/8 teaspoon salt.
Top with 3/4 cup pasta cause.
Spread half of ricotta mixture over sauce and top with a third of the mozzarella and 1/4 cup cheese.
Repeat layers once, ending with about 1 cup pasta sauce.

Cover tightly with foil coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375F for 35 minutes.
Remove foil; top with remaining mozzarella and Parmigiano.

Bake an additional 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese melts.
Let cool 10 minutes before slicing.

Looks yummy doesn't it? Tasted even better! :)

Buon Appetito! 


  1. OMG, that looks scrumptious - and I don't normally like eggplant much! I'd need a nice piece of Ciabatta and one of your amazing salads to go with it though, Diane. And perhaps a decent bottle of Chianti?

  2. It was scrumptious Mark! And we served it exactly the way you described, with a summer salad and a good bottle of Chianti, but sans bread! Yummy :)

  3. Perfect timing! I just got three Eggplants from my CSA today! Your recipe is similar to one I've tried before, but it looks tastier, so I'll try it. Thanks!

  4. I have favorited this page! Can't wait to try your recipe. I will be getting back to you about growing eggplant in zone 8.

  5. I have tried often to cook with eggplant and it always comes out chewy (which is worse than gooey). That's one reason I haven't tried planting it. Hope yours was as delicious as it looks.