I made this a few weeks ago with some friends—but used a recipe one of the girls found on Pinterest and it was not the eggplant parm I’ve grown to love through my mom. So, I decided I needed to make it correctly, and though it is still different than my great-grandmother’s way of making it, it came out delicious. I breaded the eggplant and baked it instead of frying it, making it healthier and it gave me more time to clean up while it was in the oven. I used sauce from a jar, which isn’t a bad thing, but it made me miss REAL tomato sauce (Mom? Can you help me out?) and I’ve been itching for it since (I also used too little sauce the first time and the eggplants absorbed it so the second time I loaded it with sauce and the eggplant was happier). My roommates were extremely impressed with my creation, and my vegetarian roommate was extremely happy that she could eat it too. We bought the eggplant at the Coventry farmer’s market (staying local, sustainable, organic) and it was delicious. Here’s my rendition of eggplant parm:
1 medium sized eggplant
1-2 jars of tomato sauce
salt to sprinkle
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 package shredded mozzarella cheese (or shred your own)
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (plus more to sprinkle)
2 cups breadcrumbs
Wash the eggplant and peel it. Slice the eggplant into ½ inch or so discs and sprinkle both sides with salt (to remove the bitterness). Let sit for a half hour or so. Rinse eggplant off and pat dry.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and herbs in a bowl and in a separate bowl, crack the eggs and beat them. Dip a disc of eggplant into the egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture, coating evenly. Place on a baking sheet. Repeat until all eggplant is covered, adding more breadcrumbs or egg as needed. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until brown.
Adjust oven to 350 degrees. In a 9×13 baking dish, spread enough tomato sauce to coat the bottom and a little extra. Cover the sauce with the baked discs of eggplant to form a singular layer. Cover with sauce and sprinkle with a handful of mozzarella and some Parmesan.
Repeat until all of the eggplant has been used up and the top is covered with sauce, maybe 3 or 4 layers. If any space on the sides, fill with sauce. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden. Serve right away.