We had one day of summer then back to raw and rainy, the perfect kind of weather to make a big pot of sauce and some eggplant parmesan to go with. This recipe is inspired by Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook.
1 large eggplant sliced into 3/4” rounds
salt and pepper
½ cup Flour
1 cup (or so) Panko bread crumbs
2 eggs lightly beaten
Light olive oil
Favorite marinara sauce
1 cup (or so) shedder mozzarella cheese
½ cup (or so) Grated Parmesan Cheese
A few leaves of basil, chopped
Place eggplant slice on a few layers of paper towels in a small sheet pan, sprinkle both sides with salt, place another layer of paper towels on top, top with another sheet pan and weight down with a few cans or something and let sit for 30 minutes to drain out moisture.
Preheat oven to 425° with sheet pan in it
Put flour and a few grinds of pepper in a paper bag, add eggplant and shake until coated with flour.
Place bread crumbs in a shallow bowl and beaten in another. Dip the floured eggplant rounds in egg, tap off excess egg and dip in bread crumbs. CAREFULLY Remove heated sheet pan from oven and put 2 T oil on pan, tip to coat bottom of pan. Arrange breaded eggplant on sheets in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, flipping eggplants and bake for another 10-20 minutes until both sides and brown and crispy.
Spread 1 cup sauce in the bottom of an 8x8 baking dish, top with half the eggplant slices, then 1 cup sauce, ½ the shredded mozzarella, then the remaining of eggplant slices, a little more sauce, the remaining mozzarella and the parmesan. Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is bubbly.
Serve over pasta with marinara sauce and a sprinkle of fresh chopped basil.