Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

I tried making eggplant parmesan for the first time because I received an eggplant in my bountiful basket and I didn't quite know what to do with it. What a nice surprise! This was so good! It did take me about an hour and a half to make the whole dinner because I made everything from scratch - even the bread crumbs. It would have gone a lot quicker with bottled marinara sauce and store bought breadcrumbs, but I'm glad I did it from scratch. So worth it. :) The salad is simply carrots, mushrooms, green leaf lettuce, and spinach leaves.

Eggplant Parmesan
3 eggplant, peeled and thinly sliced
2 eggs, beaten
4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
6 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes on each side.
  3. In a 9x13 inch baking dish spread spaghetti sauce to cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Repeat with remaining ingredients, ending with the cheeses. Sprinkle basil on top.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.
This is what my finished product looked like. I did only use 1 eggplant and about 2 cups of breadcrumbs. I got 19 slices out of it which was plenty for our family for this meal and one meal of leftovers. I then served it over angel hair pasta. It actually looks a little burnt because it WAS. I fell asleep on the couch for a little bit while it was cooking and then I woke up and looked at the clock and "Oh NO!!!" It cooked about 5-6 minutes past the desired time. It still was really good and to be honest, I liked the toasted cheese.
This was my first experience with eggplant and I thought it was really weird that it can be mistaken as meat. My kids kept thinking they were eating meat and I reminded them of that big purple vegetable I showed them. They did ask if we could have this meal again sometime, so that means it really WAS a hit. I'll include a recipe for the homemade breadcrumbs, which I doubled to make sure I'd have enough. I made them for super cheap!

Italian Breadcrumbs
1 cup plain breadcrumbs (I dried out wheat bread in the oven)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon dried basil

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