Thursday, April 7, 2011

Simple Eggplant Parm

A lot of people are afraid of eggplant.'s a little...well, odd.

Eggplant parm is always my go-to when I can't think of what to do with my eggplant. Sounds boring, but last night, my sister-in-law told me that she tries eggplant parm at restaurants quite often, but whose is the best? Mine. That's right. I can't take all the credit mom has taught me well. There is nothing very special about my eggplant parm...except maybe the luscious and spicy marinara, the crispy yet still moist texture of the eggplant (both fried and baked), or the way the mozzerella melts into the baked dish...Ok--maybe it's special afterall. :)

Here goes:

1 large eggplant
1 1/2 c. flour
2 beaten eggs
1 1/2 c. italian bread crumbs
2 c. shredded mozzerella cheese
1/3 c. olive oil

3 large tomatoes - chopped
1 small can tomato paste
1 c. water or vegetable broth
1 medium yellow onion
1 1/2 cloves minced garlic
1 tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. oregano

For sauce: place all ingredients in pot and let simmer on medium heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add water if sauce is too thick.
When sauce starts to bubble, it is ready!

Peel and slice a large eggplant...slices should be about a 1/4 inch thick.
Create an assembly line of eggplant coating: 1 bowl: white or wheat flour, 1 bowl: 2 beaten eggs, 1 bowl: italian bread crumbs [to do this homemade--crumble stale bread mixed with healthy tablespoons of parsley, salt, pepper, and italian seasoning.]

Coat all eggplant pieces with flour, egg, and breadcrumbs (in that order)

Warm up a shallow pan coated with olive oil on medium heat. Wait a few minutes. Then, place eggplant in pan. When sides begin to brown, turn over.

Pre-heat over to 375 degrees.

Take glass baking pan and coat bottom with tomato marinara. Then place eggplant in two straight rows. They can overlap a little.

Pour thin coat of sauce over top of the eggplant rows.

Sprinkle mozzerella on eggplant pieces.

Cover with foil and bake.

When you see the sauce and cheese bubbling, your eggplant parm is ready! This usually takes about 25 minutes.

Serve with a hearty green salad, or vegetable! :)