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Friday, September 17, 2010

Jennifer's Week Thirty-Six Recipe - Eggplant Parmesan

In my continuing quest to find vegetarian dishes for my guys, I made this dish for them this evening. Every once and a while I make a beef and eggplant pie that Chad just loves, so I decided to branch out using eggplant. I found the original recipe on I apologize for the editorial comments.

Eggplant Parmesan

3 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced (I used 2 and that was plenty. More on that below.)

2 eggs, beaten (ok, this would have been no where near enough! I used 8 egg whites!)

4 cups Italian breadcrumbs (I used plain breadcrumbs since I had them on hand. I seasoned them with basil, rosemary, oregano, garlic, thyme and parsley. And I probably used more than 4 cups.)

6 cups of spaghetti sauce (I used a huge jar that was just over 7 cups.)

16oz shredded mozzarella cheese (Again, I used more since my guys love cheese)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (No idea how much I actually used since I took my Parmesan wedge to my Microplane)

1/2 tsp dried basil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

(Based on the suggestions of several reviewers of the recipe, I sweat the eggplant slices in a colander for 15-20 minutes before using them. What is meant by that - for those who may not know - is I layered the eggplant slices in the colander, sprinkling a generous amount of salt over each layer. After the appropriate period of time has passed, I rinsed the slices well under cold water and then patted them dry with paper towel.)

Dip the eggplant slices in egg, then the bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet ("a baking sheet"?! It took 3!). Bake in the over for 5 minutes on each side. (I just waited until they started to brown on top without turning them. Trying to keep a six-year-old, a dog and kitten in line while cooking means that I skipped this not completely necessary step!)

In a 9x13 baking dish, spread a layer of the pasta sauce followed by a layer of eggplant, then the cheese. Repeat this until all the ingredients are used, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle the basil on top. (This results in a dish that weighs about 20 pounds when you go to move it to the oven.)

Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

(I also served it with pasta.)

Would I make this again? Yes. And invite everyone I know over to eat it since it makes a TON of food. Stupid me did not notice the "Servings: 10" until after I started to make it. Also, getting the slices thin is important (and uniform would also be a good thing). This is the first dish where I seriously considered buying a mandolin. Chad and Erik both complained about chewing and yes, some of the pieces of eggplant were chewy - because they were too thick. (And if they ate instead of inhaled, this may not be such an issue) Overall, they liked it, but next time I will at least halve the recipe and try to cut the eggplant more uniformly.

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