During the warmer months, a farmer’s market sets up twice a week right outside of my office building. Last week marked the last one until next year, so during my lunch break I made sure to stock up!
If you don’t have a farmer’s market near you, I highly encourage you to look for one. Not only are you getting the freshest, pesticide free produce you can get, but it’s also insanely cheap.
So this past week I came home with baskets of fresh Brussels sprouts, buttery fingerling potatoes, colorful hot peppers, and bright purple eggplants.
I love eggplant and its delicate flavor is delicious simply seasoned and grilled, but this time I decided to go with something a little more extravagant: eggplant parmesan. The eggplant is sliced thin, fried, and then layered between marinara sauce, fresh mozzarella, and parmesan.
If you decide to try this recipe, plan for a couple of hours worth of cooking. Eggplant parmesan is a commitment, but I promise the gooey, cheesy goodness is completely worth it.
- 1 large eggplant
- 1/2 c freshly grated parmesan
- Fresh mozzarella cheese
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 c plain bread crumbs
- 1 c flour
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 2 c marinara sauce
- 2 tbls olive oil
- Slice the eggplant into even, 1/2″ slices.
- Line a colander with the eggplant slices and season with salt. Let the colander sit in the sink for 40 minutes. This step releases moisture from the eggplant to avoid a mushy eggplant parmesan.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, basil, and oregano on a large plate. Set up your breading station with the flour, beaten eggs, and bread crumb mixture.
- Place each slice of eggplant in the flour, then the eggs, and then the bread crumbs. Set the breaded eggplant slices aside.
- Heat 2 tbls. olive oil in a medium pan. Working in batches to avoid over crowding the pan, fry each eggplant slice for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crispy.
- Build your parmesan in an 8×8 baking sheet. Start with a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan, followed by eggplant, mozzarella, and parmesan. Continue layering until you run out of eggplant or until the pan is full.
- Bake in the preheated oven, uncovered, for 25-30 minutes.