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Eggplant Parmesan

Crispy oven-fried eggplant topped with melted cheese, nestled in a bed of savory tomato sauce. How to make the best eggplant parmesan.
Course Entree
Cuisine American, Best, Italian
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Cheese, Vegetable
Diet Low Sugar, Pescatarian, Vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 34 minutes
Total Time 49 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

For eggplant

  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 25 grams Parmesan cheese (grated about 1/4 cup)

For Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 small onion (finely diced)
  • 7 grams garlic (1 large clove minced)
  • 90 grams ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 400 grams whole stewed tomatoes (1 small can)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

To Assemble

  • 100 grams Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 12 grams Parmesan cheese (grated about 2 tablespoons)

Instructions

  1. Trim both ends off the eggplants and cut them into 9 rounds about 1-inch thick. Sprinkle the sliced eggplant evenly on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Let them sit for about 45 minutes. This coaxes the excess water out of the eggplant, which helps the breading crisp.
  2. After resting for 45 minutes, use paper towels and the palms of your hands to press out as much water as you can from the eggplant slices.
  3. Drizzle the eggplant with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and keep flipping the slices over until the eggplant has absorbed all the oil.
  4. Prepare a baking sheet with a wire rack inside. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Prepare 3 small bowls. Add the flour to one bowl. Add the egg to the second and beat until uniform. Add the panko and grated parmesan to the third bowl and stir to combine.
  6. Dust the eggplant slices in flour and pat off any extra flour with your hands so that each slice has a thin even coat of flour without any clumps.
  7. Dip the floured eggplant in the egg mixture, coating every surface and then transfer the eggplant to the bowl with the breadcrumbs.
  8. Shake the bowl, using a tossing motion to coat the pieces evenly with bread crumbs, pressing down on them to ensure you get a nice even coating.
  9. Place the breaded eggplant onto the wire rack and then bake until the eggplant is tender when poked with a toothpick and the breading is light brown (about 30-40 minutes).
  10. While the eggplant bakes, make the sauce by adding the olive oil, onions and garlic to a pan and saute over medium-high heat until the onions are tender and are starting to brown.
  11. Add the ground meat and saute, breaking up the chunks until the meat is cooked.
  12. Add the wine and let it boil until most of the liquid is gone.
  13. Add the stewed tomatoes, water, salt, oregano and pepper, breaking up the tomatoes with a spatula.
  14. Turn down the heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook the sauce for 10 minutes.
  15. When the eggplant is done, remove it from the oven and turn the heat up to 500 degrees F (260 C).
  16. Pour the sauce into a 10-inch square baking dish. Lay the oven-fried eggplant on top of the sauce.
  17. Cover the eggplant with mozzarella and the remaining parmesan cheese.
  18. Bake the eggplant parmesan until the cheese is golden brown and crusty (about 10-15 minutes).