I absolutely adore eggplant for its characteristic “meaty” taste, texture, and versatility. Eggplant shows many faces in Baba Ganoush – a smoky and smooth dip, warming and comforting Moussaka, and classic Eggplant Parmesan.
This recipe is most certainly a labor of love and tastes best on the first day right out of the oven; however nothing can really parallel an Eggplant Parm. Sandwich.
If you have your own sauce recipe, use it! If you chose to purchase, go local! There are many great local options out there for store-bought sauce including Terra Cotta sauces from Dover NH and Kittery ME and Valicenti Organico from Hollis NH
We suggest salting your eggplant first. This process removes any bitter tinges throughout the eggplant and lightens the vegetable “meat” so it comes out light, fluffy, and fork tender when fried. Enjoy with penne pasta and save leftovers for your sandwich.
Serves 4 with leftovers
2 large Eggplants (sliced vertically into thin strips)
2 Cups Bread Crumbs
2 Eggs (beaten)
5 pinches Kosher Salt
1 cup: Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
4 oz Fresh Mozzarella (sliced thin)
2 cups shredded Mozzarella
1 ½ Cups of Canola Oil
1.Line a plate with a sheet of paper towel. Sprinkle kosher salt on both sides of a piece of eggplant. Place another paper towel on top.
2. Continue this process, layering the salted eggplant over paper towels until all the eggplant is used.
3. Place a heavy object on top of the stack of eggplant. Let sit for 30 minutes.
4. After 30 minutes, uncover each layer and rinse eggplant with cold water. Preheat Oven to 450 F.
5. Place eggplant back between dry paper towels in layers. Place heavy object on top of stack for 10 minutes this time.
6.Heat canola oil in heavy-bottom skillet until it is lightly bubbling.
7.Dip each piece of eggplant in egg-wash followed by breadcrumbs. (Try to keep one hand dry!)
8. Place eggplant into pan and fry about 2 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Place on paper towels to drain excess oil.
9. Spray Pyrex baking dish with non-stick spray.
10. Spoon about ½ a cup of tomato sauce into the bottom of the pan; spread evenly.
11. Layer eggplant into dish.
12. Cover with more tomato sauce.
13. Add small blobs of ricotta on top of tomato sauce and cover with shredded mozzarella.
14. Repeat steps 12-16 until eggplant is finished.
15. On the top layer place fresh mozzarella slices.
18. Bake at 450 Degrees for 30 minutes until cheese is bubbling.