Farmers Market Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

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Last Saturday I came home with a bounty of goodies from my local farmer’s market: green beans, tomatoes, red onion, blackberries and a bulb of fresh garlic.

There is nothing better than cooking with fresh ingredients especially when your main course is a vegetable.  Tonight I am making Eggplant Parmesan and it is truly my favorite dish.  I’ve tried it many ways but I always come back to my mom’s recipe, as it is the ultimate comfort food.

Farmers Market Produce

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Eggplants, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 (25 oz) jars of your favorite pasta sauce (I love Victoria’s Tomato Basil)
  • Fresh basil chopped  (3 Tbsp)
  • Fresh Parsley chopped (2 Tbsp)
  • Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup Flour
  • 3-5 Eggs, Beaten
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 Lbs of Fresh Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • 1/ 2 stick of Butter
  • Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder to taste

Salting your eggplant is an important step.  Eggplant, like many veggies, holds a ton of water.  If you don’t salt your eggplant, the water will bake out into your dish.  It waters down your tomato sauce and can make your entire dish soggy.  {Please don’t skip this step as it will make a huge difference in the taste and texture.}

sliced eggplant

1. Slice your eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.  Lay them out on a paper towel or a clean dish towel and sprinkle salt on top.  Let sit for 15 minutes and wipe/rinse off the salt.  I used coarse sea salt because it is easy to wipe off after your done salting the eggplant.

water eggplant

Can you believe how much water comes out?  I would hate to have that much liquid baking out of the eggplant, it would drown all that flavor of the sauce!

eggs, flour, breadcrumbs

2. Place eggs, flour and breadcrumbs into three large but shallow bowls.

Oil and Butter in Hot pan

3. Heat a large pan with olive oil and a slab of butter until melted.  Please note that you will need to add EVOO and butter before each batch.  The breadcrumbs will really absorb the oil and butter.

OK, I realize this may not be the healthiest recipe I have shared here at 11 Magnolia Lane!

The photo above may have some of you running for the hills especially during swimsuit season.  🙂

This step really helps heat the oil to the right temperature and the butter adds some great flavor.  As I previously mentioned, this is comfort food and so that means we are frying up this breaded eggplant,   but there are plenty of healthier options that still taste GREAT.    I have grilled and baked eggplant in the past without any flour or breading for a more paleo-friendly dish.  If you choose this healthier route simply grill or bake your eggplant slices over medium heat until soft.  Whether you fry, grill or bake your eggplant you will still layer and assemble your dish as I do below:

 

Cheese, sauce, mozzarella, basil and parsley

 

4. Layer:  Place a bit of sauce on the bottom of the pan to start.

  • Eggplant
  • Sauce
  • Mozzarella Cheese
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Basil, parsley, salt, pepper & garlic powder
  • Repeat (Always end with a topping of sauce and cheese as pictured below)

IMAssembled Eggplant Parm

baked eggplant parm

4. Cover your dish with foil and bake 350 degrees until bubbling and the cheese is melted (approx. 30-45 minutes).  I take the foil off for that last 5-10 minutes to brown the top.

Eggplant Parm Plated

I make two pans, and freeze one {uncooked, then thaw and cook}, it makes for a great dinner down the road and freezes nicely.

Thanks for stopping by~

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Comments

  1. This was my 1st attempt at Eggplant Parm and it was DELICIOUS!! Great tip about salting the eggplant slices. Worked like a charm. Thank you!!

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