Eggplant Parmesan is a delicious and popular Italian-American dish made with breaded and fried eggplant slices layered with tomato sauce and cheese, then baked until golden and bubbly. It was one of the few thing my brother-in-law & I agreed on. This take has stiff competition from delicious versions from 2 of my sisters-in-law. It’s a flavorful and satisfying vegetarian dish that can be served as a main course or a side dish.
Here’s a simple recipe for making Eggplant Parmesan:
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 egg
- ¼ c flour for dredging
- ¼ c olive oil
- ½ c panko
- 1 bottle craft IPA or stout
Slice eggplant in ¾-1” rounds (yields about 8), place in large plastic bag. Add flour & shake to cover. Whisk egg, add olive oil. Pour into bag & shake. Pour in panko, & guess what? Carefully place on grid over cookie sheet & let rest for about10’ while preheating.
Line the fryer basket with parchment paper. Preheat to 390⁰ F. Place ½ the rounds in basket, overlapping a bit if necessary. Cook about 15’, flipping about ½ way through.
I didn’t like the online recipes that finish in the air fryer as they look too much like eggplant mcMuffins, so back to the oven. Remove rounds to the cookie sheet.
While eggplant is cooking:
- 1 head of garlic (or to taste), roughly chopped
- 3 T olive oil
- 2 T tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 12 oz canned tomatoes (garden fresh even better)
- 2 T dried oregano
- 1 medium Walla Walla sweet onion, sliced thin (mandolin?), or as a last resort, a Vidalia onion
- 8 oz whole milk mozzarella
- ½ cup grated parmesan
- ¼ cup chopped fresh basil
In a cast-iron skillet, toast garlic in the olive oil over mod-low heat for about 3’ until the garlic is crisply browned. Raise heat to mod high and smear tomato paste; cook for 2-3’. Add wine, reduce heat and let liquid cook down. Add tomatoes, oregano & sugar and reduce to low.
Heat oven to 350⁰.
In an 8×10 baking dish, spread a few T of sauce. Layer ½ the eggplant, top with 1/2 of the onions and fresh basil. Finish the layer with ½ the sauce and ½ mozzarella. Repeat for 2nd layer. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake for 30’ and the cheese is golden & melted