Trouble With Toast

Eggplant Parmesan: Variations on a Theme | April 18, 2008

When I got two lovely eggplants in my weekly produce delivery, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them–eggplant parmesan.  Sure, it’s the obvious choice, and it doesn’t involve a lot of culinary creativity, but it’s one of my favorite dishes.

What I love about eggplant parmesan is that everyone makes it differently.  Some people salt the eggplant, some people don’t.  Some people slice it thin, some people prefer thick.  Some people bake the whole shebang, and some people bread and fry the eggplant.  The possibilities are endless, and each variety has its own special deliciousness.

For mine, I slice the eggplant in thick rounds–skin on–and then salt them for about an hour (this draws out the water and also prevents me from having to season much later).  I dry the slices well, bread them in egg and Italian breadcrumbs, and pan fry them in olive oil until they’re browned but still fairly firm.  Then, I layer a baking pan with, in order: sauce (usually canned, though one of these days I’m going to make homemade marinara and freeze it for just such an occasion), eggplant, grated parmesan cheese, and shredded or sliced mozzarella.  Usually, I have two full sets of layers (either by using one large eggplant or two small ones), and the mozzarella always goes on top.  Then, I bake everything at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, and I finish under the broiler for a few minutes, just until the top layer of cheese is golden and bubbly.

How do you make YOUR eggplant parmesan?

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5 Comments »

  1. I LOVE eggplant! I haven’t tried baked eggplant parmesan, it’ll have to go on my to-make list.

    Comment by vigilant20 — April 18, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

  2. I know there are so many other things to do with eggplant, but I always gravitate towards eggplant parmesan–so comforting!

    Comment by bettyjoan — April 21, 2008 @ 12:58 pm

  3. I can’t stand eggplant. And by that I mean that I haven’t had it since I was little and hated most vegetables.

    Perhaps on our date we can get each other to like hated foods. Or we could just be awesome, since that comes so easily to us.

    Comment by secularfriend — April 21, 2008 @ 7:53 pm

  4. Hmmm, I don’t really have any hated foods–I mean, I’m allergic to peanuts, but I don’t think you’d fix that by making me eat them. Of course, you scratching my inflamed, itchy arms when I break out in hives could be hot. Or not.

    Let’s stick with the awesomeness. It does come easily, and, like Kelis’ milkshake, it brings all the boys to the yard. 😉

    Comment by bettyjoan — April 27, 2008 @ 9:54 pm

  5. I just made my first eggplant parm tonight and it is insanely delicious. I nabbed this recipe from Allrecipes.com, but I just thought I’d throw it on here.

    Sliced the E thick with skins, salted them for 30 min, fried them in olive oil until brown. Layered store-bought sauce, eggplant, and then the CHEESE: a mixture of ricotta (8 oz), mozzarella (6 oz), half a cup of grated parmesan, an egg, and dried basil. Sauce, eggplant, cheese, sauce, eggplant cheese- then a final layer of parmesan, breadcrumbs, and more mozzarella. DIVINE.

    A helpful note- rinse the salt off the eggplant with cold water thoroughly after they sweat and then let them dry a little on paper towels.

    Comment by Sailu — January 26, 2009 @ 4:23 am


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