Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What I Made for Dinner: November 23, 2010

Eggplant parmesan.

I made a discovery tonight! As part of the lead-up to Thanksgiving, I wanted eggplant parmesan (meatless, vegetable-based) without all the fat from the fried eggplant. (I also did not want to stand at the oven frying because certain people in my house need a lot of supervision right now.)

So instead of frying, I tried breading the eggplant slices and then roasting them in a very hot oven. It totally worked! The eggplant slices became soft but not mushy and they had a nice crisp, golden brown crust. Innovation!

(Incidentally, this recipe is a little time-consuming. I probably wouldn't have attempted it on a regular weeknight. Tonight it worked because I'm in the middle of grading papers right now and I knock off pretty early from that, otherwise I start seeing double and reading the same sentence seven times.)

Eggplant parmesan with tomato sauce

For the sauce:
Two 28-ounce cans of roma tomatoes
Two Tbsp olive oil
Two cloves of garlic, minced
One bunch fresh basil

In a food processor, puree the tomatoes, along with all the juice in the cans. Put the tomato puree and all the other ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes.

For the eggplant parmesan:

One or two globe eggplants, about two pounds
2 tsp. kosher salt
Three eggs, beaten
One cup flour
One and a half cups plain dried bread crumbs
Half a cup grated parmesan cheese
One to two cups shredded mozzarella cheese, depending on how cheesy you like it.

Slice the eggplant crosswise into 3/4-inch slices. Sprinkle kosher salt over the slices and place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels. Let them stand for about 30 minutes (for instance, while the sauce is cooking).

Preheat oven to 450. Bread the eggplant slices: dip each one first in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs. After each dip, shake off the excess. Place the breaded eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking tray lined with aluminum foil. Roast for about 10 minutes, until the slices have turned golden.

Lower the oven to 350. Coat the bottom of a non-stick 9-by-13 pan with about one cup of tomato sauce. Top with a layer of eggplant. Top that with about a cup and a half of sauce, followed by 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Add a second layer of eggplant, followed by the rest of the sauce, 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, and finally the mozzarella. Bake about 30 minutes, until the cheese is golden and the sauce bubbles.


  1. This sounds so good. I'm going to try it with Mom's sauce or ragu but you have to soak your eggplant slices for that half hour - much better than salting and letting it sit. Try that next time to get the yuck out of the eggplant. If you have any leftovers, that's all I want for dinner tomorrow night.
    Also, my kids can't wait to knock out another of Eli's teeth. Ok, that is not true and not funny. But we all can't wait to see that little cutie pie.

  2. I don't mind salting the eggplant for this recipe because it is the only salt added (not counting what's already in the cheese). If you don't salt the eggplant, you might consider adding some salt to the tomato sauce.