I have made eggplant parm before. The problem has always been, though, that frying eggplant improperly, as I’ve invariably done, left me with little circular pieces of heart attack on a plate.
So this time, I decided to at least try and bake it – just to see if I could. I’d paid a very good price for some small eggplants, so if it failed, it wasn’t a huge loss. Here’s what I did…
2 eggplants, each one could fit in the palm of my hand – about 1 lb.
2 eggs, scrambled
1/4 c. flour
salt & pepper
panko bread crumbs
The day before, I peeled the eggplants. Then I sliced them into 1/2 inch slices. To prevent them from browning, I dipped each slice in a bowl of cold water that I’d mixed approximately 2-3 Tbs. of lemon juice in.
I then lay them in a colander to dry for most of the day. Before bed, I put the now dry slices in a zipper bag in the fridge.
The next day, I took them out and they were still a nice white color, and they were DRY.
I put about 1/4 cup of flour into a bowl. In a 2nd bowl, I scrambled 2 eggs. In a 3rd bowl, I put about 2 cups of panko breadcrumbs that I’d seasoned with garlic powder, salt & pepper.
First, dredge the eggplant slices in flour. This helps the egg stick to them, and also helps to keep them from absorbing too much egg and getting soggy.
Next, drag the floured slices through the egg, then into the bread crumbs.
Place each slice onto a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with some sort of cooking spray.
I baked mine in a 375° oven for about 30 minutes or so – testing them with a fork every few minutes. When the fork went in without resistence, I knew they were done.
They came out so well just like that, I ate a couple of slices just plain! Each of my kids did too!
Of course, I reallllllly wanted sauce and cheese on them, so I did that next – spreading just a spoon full of sauce on each round, a slice of mozzarella cheese on each, and then popped them back into the oven just long enough to melt the cheese.
In the past, I’ve always felt guilty about ordering an eggplant parmesan sandwich in a restaurant because of all the fat that’s been absorbed into the eggplant by the frying method. But I’ll tell you what! THIS eggplant that I made with my own two hands? COMPLETELY guilt free – and absolutely better than any restaurant dish I’ve ever ordered. Hands down!