Today on the show we learn how to make eggplant parmigiana or parmigiana di melanzane. I'll show you how to make delicious breaded eggplant cutlets as well as how to put together the perfect eggplant parm bake.
2-3 Big Eggplants (5-6 if they are the smaller eggplants)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 Cups Breadcrumbs
1 Ball, Mozzarella
1/2 Cup Parmesan
Around 4 Cups of Weekday Sauce
Salt to taste
Double Batch of Weekday Sauce: (clink here for recipe)
2 Cans Whole Peeled San Marzano Tomatoes
6 Cloves, Garlic
Olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan
Salt to taste
To prep, the eggplant, cut the top and bottoms off so it can stand up. Then slice into 1/4 inch planks. As you cut, place them in a colander with a bowl beneath it and lightly salt the eggplant slices to draw out the moisture. Once all the eggplant is cut, place something on top to weigh it all down and let that drain for 30-40 minutes.
This is a good time to prepare the weekday sauce.
There are 3 different ways you’ll find this recipe made. Some will dredge the eggplant in flour and fry it, some with egg batter the eggplant and fry it and others will bread it. I suggest you try all three and choose your favorite. Mine is breaded so that is the route I am going to go. All three will be delicious.
After 30 minutes, check the eggplant, remove the weight and with a towel, try all the eggplant slices. Then set up a basic breading station with seasoned flour, seasoned egg, and breadcrumbs (you can use breadcrumb panko combo if you want). The order of dredging is flour first, then egg, then breadcrumbs. Go through and bread all the eggplant slices.
In a pan with about a 1/4 inch of vegetable oil heated over medium - medium-high heat, fry the eggplant until they are browned and crispy on both sides. Then let drain on a cooling rack over a sheet tray and season with salt right after removing from the oil. Fry the rest of the eggplant in batches, not crowding the pan too much or you'll cool the oil down too much and not fry them well.
While those cool, slice up some fresh mozzarella and prepare to assemble the eggplant parm for baking. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a baking dish, coat the bottom with sauce and some fresh basil, then start to line the bottom with the fried eggplant, overlapping each slice just slightly. Once there is a 1 layer of eggplant, add some mozzarella slices, some parmesan cheese, some basil, sauce and then add another layer of eggplant slice but lay them down the opposite way you lay down the first layer. Repeat the process, alternative the eggplant as you stack them and making your way to the top. The top layer should start with a layer of eggplant followed by one final layer of sauce, then finish with the cheeses. Then bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes. The time isn’t so important as the look. You want it to be bubbling but to also develop brown caramelized bits on top of the cheese. That is extra flavor. Once you see that all over the crust of the Parm, you can call it done. Let that cool for 15 minutes before slicing or else it will be runny.
Once cooled, slice into squares, lay on a bed of sauce and finish with more Parm and basil. Enjoy.
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