Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Eggplant Parmesan

What, yet another tomato sauce?  But of course!  This might be the last tomato sauce (#3) that we have to post.  I think we’ve covered every Italian dish we make with these three sauces.  Most of the ingredients for this recipe are fresh from our garden, just picked today. Check out our “Garden” page for more photos.  We hope you’ve got a great garden going, too!   The first time we made this together was in the campground at the Florida Folk Festival, circa 1990’s.  Tom fried the eggplant while a friend (Debra) and I  layered everything together in a baking dish (occasionally eating a few slices in-between layering - - - OK maybe more than occasionally).  The more Tom fried, the more we ate.  After about an hour or so of frying, he started to get wise.  It’s forever after been known as “The Eggplant Incident”.  
Eggplant in our garden, ready to be picked
Eggplant Parmesan.

2 medium Eggplant (if they’re home-grown fresh, don’t bother peeling them.  If store bought, peel them.)
Sea Salt
1 ½ cup flour
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ cups plain dry bread crumbs
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 ½ cups Canola oil
8 oz. part-skim Ricotta cheese
8 oz. Mozzarella cheese, grated
½ cup Parmesan cheese
2 tbl. olive oil

·         Cut the Eggplant into ¼” to ½” slices
·         Lay Eggplant slices out on a tray and sprinkle both sides liberally with sea salt (this extracts the excess moisture in Eggplant) and leave about 30 minutes
·         Using paper towels, wipe the salt and moisture off both sides of the Eggplant slices
·         In a large mixing bowl, mix together the flour and ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese
·         In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and buttermilk together well
·         In a third bowl, combine the bread crumbs, black pepper and garlic powder and mix well
·         In a large skillet add the Canola oil
·         Using paper towels, wipe the salt and excess moisture off the eggplant slices, then using a damp paper towel wipe them off again to make sure you get most of the salt off, then set aside on a clean tray
·         Dredge each eggplant slice in flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs and place on a large baking sheet, and refrigerate until ready to use
·         In a large skillet, heat the Canola oil over medium-high heat until hot
·         Fry the eggplant over medium-high heat, turning once, until golden brown on both sides about 3 minutes per side (add a little more Canola to the pan if needed)
·         Remove the eggplant to a tray lined with paper towels to drain
·         In a small bowl, add 8 oz. Ricotta cheese and 1 tbl. Parmesan cheese and mix well
·         Spoon abut 1 ½  cups of tomato sauce #3 into the bottom of a large baking dish
·         Put one layer of eggplant over the tomato sauce in the baking dish, sprinkle 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese over the eggplant, spoon 1 tbl. of Ricotta mixture over each slice of eggplant. 
·         Spread another 2 cups of tomato sauce on top, and top with remaining eggplant and ricotta mixture and top off with remaining mozzarella cheese
·         Top off with with 2 tbl. Parmesan cheese
·         Spread the rest of the tomato sauce over the top of the eggplant casserole mix
·         Top with the rest of the mozzarella & parmesan cheese
·         Sprinkle the olive oil over the top
·         Heat oven to 325°
·         Bake on center oven rack at 325° for about 1 hour
Just in from the garden - aren't they beautiful?


  1. That looks wonderful! I've only tried eggplant once before. I grilled it and it was pretty mushy. How is the texture of it in this dish?

    1. The fried eggplant is actually pretty crisp. It softens after you bake it in the sauce, though. This dish has almost the consistency of lasagna. You might try some fried Eggplant if you want a different texture. We sometimes fry it for an appetizer, topped with a little Parmesan, or maybe some hot sauce.


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