Not my mom's eggplant parm but... A much quicker yet still delicious version of one of my favorite dishes
Savory and melt in your mouth yummy!
My mother makes the best eggplant parmesan ever! It is layers and layers of meticulously prepared (and not breaded) eggplant and it is melt in your mouth yummy. But I have never made it because is always seems like too much time and work.
Yet my husband and I absolutely love eggplant parm any style, so inspired by my friend Stacy of All Roads Lead to Healthy, I decided to try a quicker, and maybe a little healthier, version. I cut out so many steps I don’t know if my mother would recognize it but it tastes amazing!
The eggplant are lightly breaded in a mix of panko, shredded mozzarella and spices, fried in olive oil, then topped with a tiny amount of shredded mozzarella and lots of homemade tomato sauce. It is crispy, tender, flavorful and delicious.
A quick and easy version of one of our favorite dishes. Eggplant lightly breaded with a mix of gluten-free panko, shredded mozzarella and spices, quickly fried in olive oil then baked with a small amount of mozzarella and plenty of tomato sauce. Crispy, tender and melt in your mouth yummy!
If you have time, place eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 15-30 minutes. This helps release moisture and makes the eggplant less bitter. After sitting for a bit, place eggplant on a clean dish. If you are short on time, simply sprinkle both sides of the eggplant with salt before the next step.
Meanwhile, next to the stovetop, set up an assembly line with the eggplant plate and two bowls... In one whisk the eggs. In the other, add panko, shredded parmesan, garlic powder, pepper, basil and parsley and mix together.
Heat a large skillet on the stovetop over medium heat and coat with olive oil.
Dip each eggplant in the egg, coat completely, let any excess drip off, then dip into the panko mixture. Coat completely. Then place directly into the heated olive oil. I have a large pan and can basically do one full eggplant at a time so it goes quickly. But you may have to fry in stages depending on the size of your pan.
Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, flipping once, or until both sides browned and crispy and eggplant tender. Especially if you haven't let the eggplant sit with salt ahead of time, use a spatula to gently press on the eggplant after flipping to help release some moisture and make eggplant more tender.
When eggplant done frying, place in a single layer on a plate covered with paper towels. You can stack the layers -- plate, paper towels, fried eggplant, paper towels, fried eggplant, paper towels, etc. This helps remove any excess oil and keep eggplant crispy.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Assemble the eggplant parm: Spoon tomato sauce all over the bottom of an oven friendly pan. Place fried eggplant in a single layer on the sauce. Top each eggplant slice with a spoonful of tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella (1/2 -1 tablespoon depending on size of eggplant slice) and a touch of parmesan cheese. Place a second layer of eggplant on top of the first, and repeat with sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan.
Place in the oven for 7-10 minutes or until cheese melts.