Eggplant Parmesan #2

I had some eggplant from CSA Week #13. I used some of it to make Eggplant Parmesan #1 which was a fairly standard recipe which left me uninspired.

So I decided to remake it my own way.

1 medium eggplant
all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
seasoned breadcrumbs

Cut the eggplant into 3/8" thick rounds. Place on a clean kitchen towel and sprinkle both sides with salt. Let sit for an hour. This lets the bitter juices release from the eggplant.

Rinse the eggplant well and then pat dry.

Set up a breading station with all-purpose flour, a beaten egg, and seasoned breadcrumbs.

Thin the egg with a little milk or water.

Instead of using seasoned breadcrumbs you could use plain breadcrumbs and season them with oregano, thyme, parsley, pepper, etc.

Take each slice of eggplant, dredge in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.

You can cook them in a deep frying pan in about 1/2" of oil, but I find it more convenient to just use my deep fryer at 375°F. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes then drain. Flip the slices over half way through cooking. You can do this step ahead, but it's better freshly deep fried.

eggplantparm3.jpgPreheat the oven to 400°F.

Recipe #1 was sort of like a lasagna, but without noodles or ricotta, which seems to the common preparation. What I really wanted was something more like chicken Parmesan, with a serving pasta on the side. So here it is:

Prepare a serving of spaghetti according to package directions.

Heat some pasta sauce. I used Bove's marinara (in a jar) but making your homemade pasta sauce (like my red wine tomato sauce) is always good.

If you've pre-made the eggplant, reheat the slices on a lightly greased sheet pan in the oven until thoroughly heated and crispy, about 10 minutes.

On one third of an oven-safe plate put a layer of sauce, several slices of the fried eggplant, more sauce, chopped basil and flat-leaf parsley, grated Parmesano Reggiano cheese, and grated mozzarella cheese. Put in the oven for 5 minutes or so until the cheese is melted.

I prefer this over the "casserole" preparation because it's much easier to plate it attractively this way.

Remove from the oven, add to the pasta to the plate and sauce the pasta.

Served with Re Teodorico Valpolicella.

This dish is vegetarian.