Eggplant Parmigiana: A Family Favorite Recipe

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A tantalizing Eggplant Parmigiana. Layers of eggplant, nestled in robust tomato sauce, and enveloped by melted cheese, it’s a dish that fills our home with warmth, love, and the unforgettable aroma of Mediterranean comfort food.

 

Welcome to another delightful entry from the Mediterranean kitchen at Rana’s Recipe! Today, I’m thrilled to share a special recipe that holds dearly in my heart – the Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe with Fresh Mozzarella and Basil. This dish is my husband’s favorite: a man who is the epitome of an eggplant enthusiast! He could eat eggplant daily in a rich moussaka or grilled with sumac and lemon.

When I make Eggplant Parmigiana, he’s excited! He’s eager for the first bite of this comforting, layered dish. A symphony of tender eggplant, tangy tomato sauce, and two types of creamy cheese, all baked to golden perfection. Every bite teems with Mediterranean flavors, embodying our love for this beautiful cuisine.

The joy this dish brings to my husband, and the absolute delight it brings to our dinner table inspires me to share this recipe with all of you. I hope that it brings the same joy and excitement to your kitchen as it does to mine. So, without further ado, let’s dive into this classic Eggplant Parmigiana recipe and elevate your home cooking experience.

Ingredients: Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe

  •  Medium-sized eggplants form the heart of the dish, providing a rich, meaty texture when cooked.
  • Salt: Used to draw out excess moisture from the eggplants during preparation.
  • Flour: Coating the eggplant slices in flour creates a crisp texture when fried.
  • Eggs (Beaten): Eggs serve as a binding agent, helping breadcrumbs adhere to the eggplant.
  • Bread Crumbs and Panko: A combination of regular breadcrumbs and Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) offers a delightful textural contrast, with Panko adding extra crunch.
  • Olive Oil: Used for frying the eggplant slices to a golden, crispy perfection.
  • Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti Sauce (or canned tomatoes): This flavorful sauce provides a tangy, aromatic base for the dish.
  • Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (Sliced): Mozzarella cheese, when melted, adds a creamy, gooey layer to the dish.
  • Parmesan Cheese (Grated): Parmesan cheese contributes a savory, umami richness.
  • Dried Basil: Dried basil enhances the tomato sauce’s flavor, infusing it with a Mediterranean herbiness.
  • Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves: Fresh basil leaves are used as a garnish, offering the dish a vibrant, aromatic finish.

With these ingredients, you’ll create a mouthwatering Eggplant Parmigiana that will delight your taste buds.

 

Perfecting Eggplant Parmigiana: Tips for Success

  • Choosing the Right Eggplant: Select medium-sized eggplants with a firm texture and glossy skin. They should feel heavy and have vibrant, wrinkle-free skin. For this recipe, you may need 2 or 3 eggplants sliced into ½-inch thicknesses for neat layers.
  • Salting Before Cooking: Salt the slices before cooking to eliminate bitterness and tenderize the eggplant. Let them sit for about half an hour, then rinse off the salt and pat them dry.
  • Frying vs. Baking: For optimal color, flavor, and cooking, brown the eggplant in a pan and then bake. This two-step process enhances the dish’s overall quality, preventing sogginess.
  • Fresh or Canned Tomatoes: The right sauce is crucial for a flavorful Eggplant Parmigiana. Fresh tomatoes are ideal in season, but canned tomatoes also work well. If using canned tomatoes, cook them until they become a rich, flavorful sauce. Our recipe offers the flexibility to use our homemade Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti Sauce or canned tomatoes.

Preparing your Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe

Quality Ingredients: Use fresh ingredients to make your dish shine. Fresh, ripe tomatoes for the sauce (when in season), good-quality olive oil, authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano, and fresh mozzarella cheese can make a big difference in the final taste of your dish.

  • Season Each Layer: Season each eggplant, sauce, and cheese layer with salt and pepper. This technique ensures that every bite of your Eggplant Parmigiana is flavorful and well-seasoned.
  • Fresh Basil: Don’t skimp on fresh basil. Incorporate it in between the layers and sprinkle it on top after baking. Fresh basil imparts a unique brightness that beautifully complements the rich flavors of this dish.
  • Resting Time: After your Eggplant Parmigiana comes out of the oven, rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. This rest period lets the cheeses set, making it easier to slice and serve.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Drizzle: For a finishing touch, drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top before serving. This fresh olive oil flavor can elevate the dish to a new level.

Eggplant Parmigiana Serving Suggestions

This Eggplant Parmigiana Recipe stands alone as a star, but the right accompaniments can further amplify your culinary experience. A vibrant Fattoush salad, laden with fresh vegetables and a tangy dressing, makes an excellent companion by providing a refreshing contrast to the rich, creamy Parmigiana. The crunchiness of the Fattoush veggies beautifully offsets the eggplant’s tenderness.

Alternatively, a classic Caesar or Greek salad also pairs wonderfully well. The crisp lettuce and creamy dressing of the Caesar salad or the sharp feta cheese in the Greek salad add a refreshing element to balance the richness of the Parmigiana.

Another fantastic option is a slice of Sicilian scaccia Bread. This crusty bread complements the dish beautifully, ideal for savoring the last bits of the Parmigiana’s luscious sauce.

How to Make Eggplant Parmigiana: A Family Favorite Recipe

Preparation

1.
Prep the Eggplants: Slice the eggplants into ½-inch thick rounds. Salt both sides of the eggplant slices and place them in a colander. Let them sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour to draw out the bitterness. Rinse well under cold water and pat dry with a towel.
Mark as complete
2.
Bread the Eggplants: Set out three bowls. Put flour in the first bowl, beaten eggs in the second, and a mix of bread crumbs and panko in the third. Dip each eggplant slice in flour, then egg, and finally the bread crumb mix, making sure they are fully coated on all sides.
Mark as complete
3.
Brown the Eggplants: Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant slices in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches) and cook until they are golden brown on both sides. Remove the eggplants and place them on a paper towel-lined plate.
Finish the Eggplant in the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F . Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes until they are soft and fully cooked.
Mark as complete
4.
Prepare the Sauce: If using the Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti Sauce, stir the dried basil into the sauce. If using canned tomatoes, cook them with olive oil and dried basil until they break into a sauce.
Mark as complete
5.
Layer the Dish: Spread a thin spaghetti sauce at the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange a layer of the baked eggplant slices over the sauce. Top with more sauce, a sprinkling of Parmesan, and slices of mozzarella. Repeat these layers until all your ingredients are used, ending with a layer of sauce and cheese
Mark as complete
6.
Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
Serve: Cool slightly, then top with fresh basil leaves before serving. A final drizzle of good-quality olive oil is optional but recommended.Enjoy!
Mark as complete

Ingredients:

1X 2X 3X
Adjust Servings
3 Medium size eggplants
kosher Salt generous amount
1 cup all purpose fLOUR
3 eggs beaten
2 cups bread crumbs
2 cups panko
Olive oil
5 cups Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti Sauce (or canned tomatoes)
2 cups of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
1 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tablespoon dried basil
Handful of fresh basil leaves

Preparation

1
Prep the Eggplants: Slice the eggplants into ½-inch thick rounds. Salt both sides of the eggplant slices and place them in a colander. Let them sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour to draw out the bitterness. Rinse well under cold water and pat dry with a towel.
2
Bread the Eggplants: Set out three bowls. Put flour in the first bowl, beaten eggs in the second, and a mix of bread crumbs and panko in the third. Dip each eggplant slice in flour, then egg, and finally the bread crumb mix, making sure they are fully coated on all sides.
3
Brown the Eggplants: Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the eggplant slices in a single layer (you may need to do this in batches) and cook until they are golden brown on both sides. Remove the eggplants and place them on a paper towel-lined plate. Finish the Eggplant in the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F . Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes until they are soft and fully cooked.
4
Prepare the Sauce: If using the Roasted Tomato and Garlic Spaghetti Sauce, stir the dried basil into the sauce. If using canned tomatoes, cook them with olive oil and dried basil until they break into a sauce.
5
Layer the Dish: Spread a thin spaghetti sauce at the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange a layer of the baked eggplant slices over the sauce. Top with more sauce, a sprinkling of Parmesan, and slices of mozzarella. Repeat these layers until all your ingredients are used, ending with a layer of sauce and cheese
6
Bake: Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden. Serve: Cool slightly, then top with fresh basil leaves before serving. A final drizzle of good-quality olive oil is optional but recommended.Enjoy!

Recipe Tips & Suggestions

Storing and Freezing Your Eggplant Parmigiana: Tips for Leftovers

Storage: Leftover Eggplant Parmigiana should be cooled completely, transferred to an airtight container, and stored in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.

Freezing: For longer storage, freeze the completely cooled dish in a freezer-safe container or bags. The Eggplant Parmigiana will stay good for up to 3 months in the freezer.

Reheating: When ready to enjoy, defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven or microwave until heated. Ensure the dish is piping hot all the way through before serving.

Nutrition Information

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.
See our full nutrition disclosure here.

rana

By Rana

Thanks for visiting my Mediterranean food blog and welcome to my virtual kitchen! Here, you’ll find mouth-watering, wholesome, and nutritious Mediterranean recipes that will change the way you view cooking.

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