Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant. People seem to either love it or hate it with equal passion. Me? I’m on the love side. But then again, I admit that I love bread and popcorn because either is a medium for fat and salt. Perhaps that’s the underlying reason for my eggplant love?

I just love the soft texture of the flesh, the way it gets translucent. I love how it’s kind of sweet but the seeds are slightly bitter for a complexity of flavor. I love it whether it’s just stir fried with hot peppers and ground pork, or when it’s stuffed with shrimp and coated in a black bean sauce at dim sum, or when it’s roasted and mashed in a baba ganoush. And when it’s breaded, fried and covered in marinara sauce and cheese– really, how could you not love it too?

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • olive oil
  • 1.5 cups bread crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus another 2-3 tbsp
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella
  • 1 jar tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, chiffonade

Take your eggplant slices and lay them out in a colander. Lightly salt them and let them sit for at least 20 minutes to drain out some of the water. Pat them dry.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat. In a medium shallow bowl, beat the eggs. Place the flour on a plate. On another plate, combine the bread crumbs, oregano, 1/2 cup Parmesan, and garlic powder. Take about half the eggplant slices and dip as follows: 1 pass through the flour, 1 dip in the egg, a second pass through the flour then coat in the bread crumbs. Place the breaded egg plant in the hot oil, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown, adjusting the heat if necessary to keep from burning. Set on paper towel lined plate to drain any extra oil and lightly salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with the other eggplant slices.

In a large baking dish, lay out 1/3 of the eggplant slices. Cover with 1/3 of the tomato sauce and 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat, adding the extra tablespoons of grated Parm to the final layer of cheese. Bake for 30 minutes and top with the fresh basil.

CSA Count: 2

Eggplant, fresh basil

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