Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Eggplant Parmigiana

We went to Yosemite National Park this summer and while there we ate at the Curry Village dining room at our campsite which has a buffet style restaurant.  I had never really tasted eggplant parmigiana before as it always looked sort of soggy to me. Since it was one of the only vegetarian entree options that night I decided to give it a try and it was very good! Last night was my second time trying it and I have to say, mine was much better;)
Italian Eggplant

I compiled a few recipes from Bobby Flay to Mario Batali to Martha Stewart but didn't really follow any of them.  If you want very specific instructions (not my strong suit!), google one of their recipes.  I did get some tips on a message board and someone posted this blog fxcuisine as it gives a tutorial on how to prepare the eggplant. A good read.
Sweating the eggplant slices
It is a very important step to sweat the eggplant slices with salt for 30 minutes to one hour before you fry them up to get all the excess water out. Don't skip this step.

Ingredients & Preparation: Serves 4
  • 1 large Italian eggplant
  • kosher salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • oregano and parsley, to taste
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 - 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • grapeseed oil, for frying (use enough to cover the bottom of your pan and then a little more)
  • 1 jar good quality pasta sauce
  • mozzarella cheese
  • spaghetti

Wash the eggplant and chop off the ends - no need to peel it. Slice the eggplant lengthwise (should yield about 8 slices).  Cover the front and back in kosher salt and leave in a colander to drain for 30 mins to one hour. Wash the salt off the eggplant and press dry with paper towels. Preheat the oven to 375F. Whisk the eggs up with your herbs. I used the prepare herbs that come in the squeeze tubes so it would blend well when whisked. I'm sure fresh herbs would work as well, just chop them up into fine pieces so they stick.  Add some paremsan to your breadcrumbs.  Next, dredge each slice in the flour, then the egg mixture and then the breadcrumbs.  Place carefully into your hot pan with the grapeseed oil. Keep it hot to fry but not enough to burn and smoke. Once they are brown on each side transfer to a baking dish lined with papertowels to soak up the excess oil. You will have to do this in batches. Remove the papertowel and eggplant slices and pour some of the sauce into the bottom. Next layer the eggplant (fan the slices out so it covers the dish) and in between each slice add some more parmesan cheese and tomato sauce. Top the entire thing with mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and then broil the top for a couple minutes after that.   In the meantime, boil water and make some spaghetti noodles to serve with it.

Once the eggplant is baked, serve one or two slices with the steaming spaghetti, add some more tomato sauce and enjoy!


Heather said...

Ooh, this recipes looks so very good! Hope to try it out. Thanks for sharing. :)

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