My roommate Lauren and I are both part Italian. We naturally crave pasta, Bolognese sauce, lasagna, baked ziti and nearly anything else that reminds us of our grandmother’s cooking. So after we both ended up with eggplants from our weekly trip to the farmer’s market, we knew exactly what we had to do with our purchase.
Eggplant parmesan is cheap, fairly easy to make and melts in your mouth. If you don’t forget that you are primarily eating a vegetable, you must be doing something wrong.
When picking out your eggplant, size doesn’t necessarily matter, but you want to make sure that it is a deep purple and is super shiny. You want it to look as flawless as possible and avoid any bumps or bruising. Lauren and I have little patience when it comes to waiting to eat our food, so we decided to fry our eggplant simply and quickly with olive oil before we baked it. But if you don’t mind the extra time and like things more crusty and crunchy, you can dip your eggplant in a bowl of beat eggs and then in bread crumbs when you fry them.
1 Eggplant: Cut into horizontal slices about ½-1 inch wide
1 Jar of any tomato sauce
1-2 cups of mozzarella cheese
Cherry Tomatoes (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Rinse your eggplant slices and spread them out on paper towels to dry as long as possible. Preferably 30 minutes to an hour. (If you don’t this, the eggplant will soak up so much of the olive oil as you fry them that they will become soggy).
3. Liberally salt and pepper both sides of the eggplant slices.
4. Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat and pour on olive oil.
5. Fry both sides of each eggplant slice until they turn slightly golden.
6. Pour some tomato sauce onto the bottom of a cooking pan.
7. Place a layer of fried eggplant slices onto the tomato sauce.
8. Place slices of mozzarella cheese on top to your liking. Repeat layering process until you are satisfied or you run out of materials!
9. Feel free to decorate with some basil and/or sliced cherry tomatoes.
10. Leave in the oven for about 30-35 minutes, or until eggplant becomes soft and cheese is completely melted.