Eggplant Parmesan – Once Upon a Chef

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Crispy eggplant slices tossed with marinara sauce, cheese and béchamel sauce, baked till bubbly and golden – this eggplant parmesan is a labor of affection price each scrumptious chew.

Parma eggplant

There is a charming Italian restaurant in Sarasota, Florida, referred to as Caraggiolos, the place I used to order essentially the most superb parmesan cheese. Image crispy eggplant slices tossed with marinara sauce, mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, and — that is what made it particular — béchamel sauce. It was baked till bubbly and golden, and was so scrumptious that I by no means dared strive anything on the menu. Once they switched to a leaner model, I discovered myself craving the wealthy style of the unique. So, I rolled up my sleeves and determined to recreate it at house.

Eggplant Parmesan is just like lasagna however with fried eggplant slices as an alternative of pasta. Preparation might seem to be a small mission, particularly with salting, baking, and frying the eggplant slices. Nevertheless it’s 100% definitely worth the effort, and utilizing a jar of high-quality marinara sauce can prevent a while. Do not skip salting the eggplant, it is a essential step that not solely seasones the eggplant, but in addition attracts out the liquid from it, making certain that much less oil is absorbed and it develops a creamy, silky texture.

Eggplant Parmesan makes a powerful vegetarian predominant dish—serve it with a contemporary salad and garlic bread—or a scrumptious facet dish with meatballs, grilled steak, or Italian sausage. Spend a couple of completely satisfied hours within the kitchen, and you will have this restaurant favourite in your dinner desk.

Slice of eggplant parmesan

What you will want to arrange eggplant parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients

Step-by-step directions

Step 1: Salt the eggplant

In a big bowl, on a baking sheet, or straight on a slicing board, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt evenly over the entire eggplant slices.

Salting the eggplant on a cutting board

Place a couple of layers of paper towels on a big slicing board or baking sheet. Organize a few third of the eggplant slices in a single layer and canopy with extra paper towels. Proceed stacking the eggplant and paper towels, ending with a last layer of paper towels. Depart it for 1½ to 2 hours. Squeeze paper towels to soak up any extra liquid earlier than persevering with.
A stack of paper towels and eggplant slices

Step two: Put together the béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce is not essentially conventional for eggplant Parmesan, however I like the richness it provides. It counters the acidity of the marinara sauce and likewise prevents the melted mozzarella from turning rubbery.

Soften the butter in a small saucepan over medium warmth, then add the flour.

Melted butter and flour

Cook dinner, whisking always, for two minutes.

Beat the butter and flour

Add the milk and whisk till the components are blended evenly.

Whisk in the milk

Deliver to a boil, then scale back the warmth to medium-low and simmer, stirring always, for two minutes till the combination thickens. Add Parmigiano Reggiano, salt and pepper.

Beat in Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper

Whisk till the components are blended and put aside.

The final béchamel sauce

Step 3: Bread and fry the eggplant

Mix flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a big bowl. Beat the eggs with two tablespoons of chilly water in a large bowl. Combine the bread crumbs with 3/4 teaspoon of salt in a big bowl.

Gently coat every eggplant slice in flour, then shake off the surplus.

Dip the eggplant slice in flour

Dip it within the egg combination, letting any extra drip off.

Dip the eggplant slice into the egg

Then dip within the breadcrumbs, urgent together with your fingertips till the crumbs stick. (Use one hand for the dry components – flour and breadcrumbs – and the opposite for the egg combination – it is neater this fashion!) Place the baked eggplant slices on the baking sheet.
Dip the eggplant slice in the breadcrumbs

Cowl one other baking sheet with a couple of layers of paper towels. Pour sufficient oil into a big (12-inch) skillet to measure about 1/4 inch deep and warmth over medium warmth till scorching (when you dip a bit of eggplant within the oil, it can sizzle instantly). In batches, add the quantity of eggplant that matches in a single layer.

Fry eggplant slices

Fry, flipping as soon as, till golden brown, about 3 minutes per facet.

Golden eggplant slices in oilSwitch to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat, frying the remaining eggplant and inserting it between sheets of paper towels to empty.
Drain the fried eggplant on paper towels

Step 4: Meeting and baking

Preheat the oven to 425 levels F. Place the oven rack within the center place.

Unfold 3/4 cup marinara sauce over the underside of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

First layer of sauce in a baking dish

Place a 3rd of the eggplant slices, overlapping the slices to suit.

The first layer of eggplant in a baking dish

Cowl the eggplant with one other 3/4 cup of marinara sauce.

More sauce on the eggplant

Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, then pour a 3rd of the béchamel sauce over the cheese (if the béchamel is just a little stable, it is okay so as to add it in small items, no must unfold it round).

Layer of cheese and bechamel

Repeat for 2 extra layers, leaving the sides of the eggplant uncovered on the highest layer to create crispy edges. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano.

Assembled eggplant parmesan ready to bakeBake till cooked and golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool, loosely lined with aluminum foil, for about 20 minutes, then scatter the basil excessive (if utilizing), reduce into slices, and serve.

Make-ahead/freezer-friendly directions

Eggplant Parmesan could be assembled as much as 2 days earlier than baking; They can be frozen, baked or unbaked for as much as 3 months. (If frozen, thaw in fridge in a single day earlier than reheating/baking.)

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instructional video

Parma eggplant

Crispy eggplant slices tossed with marinara sauce, cheese and béchamel sauce, baked till bubbly and golden – this eggplant parmesan is a labor of affection price each scrumptious chew.

components

For eggplant parmesan

  • 2½ kilos Eggplant (2 to three medium-sized ones), trimmed and reduce crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 2½ teaspoons salt, divided
  • ¾ cup Flour for all makes use of
  • 3 Giant eggs
  • 2 cups Seasoned Italian bread crumbs
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying (approx 3 cups)
  • 1 (24 oz) A great high quality jar of marinara sauce, comparable to Rao’s or Victoria’s
  • 3 cups (12 oz) Grated entire milk mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Chopped contemporary basil, for serving (elective)

For béchamel sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons Flour for all makes use of
  • 1½ cup Milk
  • ½ cup Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon Freshly floor black pepper

instructions

  1. Eggplant salt: In a big bowl, on a baking sheet, or straight on a slicing board, sprinkle 1 teaspoon of salt evenly over the entire eggplant slices. Place a couple of layers of paper towels on a big slicing board or baking sheet. Organize a few third of the eggplant slices in a single layer and canopy with extra paper towels. Proceed stacking the eggplant and paper towels, ending with a last layer of paper towels. Depart it for 1½ to 2 hours. Squeeze paper towels to soak up any extra liquid earlier than persevering with.
  2. To arrange bechamel sauce: Soften the butter in a small saucepan over medium warmth. Add the flour and cook dinner, whisking always, for two minutes. Add the milk and whisk till the components are blended evenly. Deliver to a boil, then scale back the warmth to medium-low and simmer, stirring always, for two minutes till the combination thickens. Whisk in Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and pepper. Sit apart.
  3. Mix flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a big bowl. Beat the eggs with two tablespoons of chilly water in a large bowl. Combine the bread crumbs with 3/4 teaspoon of salt in a big bowl.
  4. Gently coat every eggplant slice in flour, then shake off the surplus. Dip them within the egg combination, leaving any extra drips, then dip them within the bread crumbs, urgent with our fingertips till the crumbs stick collectively. (Use one hand to stir within the dry components—flour and breadcrumbs—and one hand for the egg combination—it is extra lovely that manner!) Place the baked eggplant slices on a baking sheet.
  5. Cowl one other baking sheet with a couple of layers of paper towels. Pour sufficient oil into a big bowl (12 inches) frying pan to measure approx ¼ inch Deep fry and warmth over medium warmth till scorching (when you dip a bit of eggplant within the oil, it can sizzle immediately). In batches, add the quantity of eggplant that matches in a single layer and fry, turning as soon as, till golden brown, about 3 minutes per facet. Switch to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Repeat, frying the remaining eggplant and inserting it between sheets of paper towels to empty.
  6. Preheat the oven to 425°F Then set up the oven rack within the center place.
  7. Unfold ¾ cup Of marinara sauce over the underside of a 9×13 inches Baking plate. Place a 3rd of the eggplant slices, overlapping the slices to suit. We cowl the eggplant with one other layer ¾ cup Of marinara sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, then pour a few third of the bechamel sauce over the cheese (if the bechamel has frozen just a little, it’s okay so as to add it in small items, there isn’t a must distribute it). Repeat for 2 extra layers, leaving the sides of the eggplant uncovered on the highest layer to create crispy edges. Sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano. Bake till cooked and golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool, lined with aluminum foil, for about 20 minutes. Sprinkle basil over it (if utilizing), then reduce into slices, and serve.
  8. Observe: Dietary info was calculated assuming that about 1/2 teaspoon of salt sprinkled on the eggplant is absorbed, and 1/4 cup of oil is absorbed into the eggplant when frying.
  9. AHEAD/FREEZER-FRIENDLY INSTRUCTIONS: Eggplant Parmesan could be assembled as much as 2 days earlier than baking; They can be frozen, baked or unbaked for as much as 3 months. (If frozen, thaw in fridge in a single day earlier than reheating/baking.)

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Vitamin info

Powered by edamame

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Energy: 565
  • fats: 31 grams
  • Saturated fats: 13 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 49 grams
  • sugar: 14 grams
  • Fiber: 7 g
  • protein: 24 grams
  • sodium: 1031 mg
  • Ldl cholesterol: 132 mg

This web site is written and produced for informational functions solely. I’m not an authorized nutritionist and the dietary statements on this web site haven’t been evaluated or authorised by a nutritionist or the Meals and Drug Administration. Dietary info is offered as a courtesy and shouldn’t be construed as a assure. The info is calculated by means of the digital dietary calculator Edamam.com. Though I make each effort to offer correct dietary info, these numbers needs to be thought-about estimates solely. Numerous elements comparable to the categories or manufacturers of merchandise bought, pure fluctuations in contemporary produce, and the best way components are processed change the efficient dietary info in any given recipe. Moreover, completely different on-line calculators present completely different outcomes relying on their diet reality sources and algorithms. To get essentially the most correct dietary info in a given recipe, it’s best to calculate the dietary info utilizing the precise components utilized in your recipe, utilizing your most popular diet calculator.

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