Eggplant parmesan, a delicious vegetarian alternative to chicken parmesan is enjoyed all though out the world. The eggplant works because after you remove some of the moisture through salting, it holds it’s shape without getting soggy. This way you still get that ‘bite’. Eggplants arrived in Italy from Arab merchants, that got it from India. There is still debate to this day whether the dish originated Sicily, Naples or Parma. It tastes so good I can see why there is still fighting about where it came from.
The cooking method used in this dish are both pan frying and broiling. The dish is made by removing the moisture from the eggplant slices, then breading them and pan frying them to get that crispiness. After that, you put your favorite store bought or homemade tomato sauce, mozzarella and parmesan cheese on top, then broil. Simple and easy.
You could also serve this dish without the cheese if you wanted and then top it with fresh basil, or even watercress and it would be delicious.
|Tomato sauce||16 fl oz (2 cups)|
|Egg wash||8 fl oz (1 cup)|
|Panko bread crumbs||8 oz (1 cup)|
|Vegetable oil||as needed|
|Mozzarella cheese||4 oz|
|Parmesan cheese||4 oz|
|Basil (garnish)||as needed|
- Trim the edges of the eggplant off. Peel the eggplant (optional). Slice into circles about 1/4 in thick. Put the slices in a colander and sprinkle with salt to remove the moisture. Let it sit for about 15 minutes.
- warm the tomato sauce in a pot.
- mix the flour with salt and pepper. Dry off the eggplant with paper towel. Then bread them by coating a slice with egg wash, then flour, then egg wash again, then breadcrumbs. Continue doing this for each slice.
- Get a frying pan and fill it with enough oil to cover the eggplant slices half way. Heat it up to medium high heat and cook the slices until golden brown.
- Mix the mozzarella and parmesan cheese in a bowl.
- Transfer the fried eggplant slices onto a baking tray, top with the tomato sauce and cheese, then broil until the cheese is nice and bubbly. Garnish with ripped basil or a chiffonade of basil.
- A chiffonade is done by tightly rolling the basil leaves, then cutting it to make little strips.
- Try making half of the eggplant skin on, while half are skin off to see which way you like it better.
- Have your breading station set up, a bowl of egg wash, seasoned flour and breadcrumbs. (in that order)
Some ways you can alter this dish is by using a different vegetable, zucchini for instance would work well. You could use potatoes by making mashed potatoes, then chilling them, shaping it into a disc shape then breading and frying it. It would be like a croquette topped with tomato sauce and cheese.
Some other ideas you could try are using a different sauce. You could try making this with a flavorful basil pesto and garnishing with crushed pine nuts, or using a thick and creamy béchamel sauce. I can already picture the basil pesto idea, very colorful dish.
That is all I have for you today though, so I hope you enjoyed reading it and eating it, if you created this dish. Have a blessed one.
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