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?