I have been on an eggplant kick lately. Normally I grill my eggplant after loading it up with olive oil and salt. A few times I have been able to coax Thing 1 to have a taste. At the end of the meal, I was the one who was still chowing down the eggplant. No one seems to appreciate this purple fruit..vegetable… like I do.
Last night I whipped up some Eggplant Parmesan and everyone at my table ate it. Things 1 & 2 thought it was chicken at first. Thing 1 is wise to me calling something “new” chicken so when she saw chicken already on her plate the questions began. I waited until she had almost eaten all of her eggplant parmesan and then I told her the truth about what she was eating. She looked at me incredulously and said, “really?” “Yes dear, when you don’t know what you are eating sometimes you are able to enjoy it for what it really is without the preconceived notions that you do not like it.” Thing 2 didn’t care what it was, he ate it all. That’s my boy. I do believe I finally have some purple fruit.. or is it vegetable.. eaters in the house besides me. Hooray. One small fruit, uh vegetable at a time. Seriously, is it a fruit or is it a vegetable? I think it’s a fruit we eat as a vegetable. Something to chew on today.
Let’s talk about how I did it.
Things you will need:
1 good-sized eggplant
Italian bread crumbs
3-4 eggs (this depends on the size of your eggplant)
1 29 oz can of tomato sauce *1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce*
1 tbsp Parsley
1 tsp basil
Mozzarella or Cheddar
Pre heat your oven to 350 degrees
Wash and dry your eggplant. Remove the skin. I don’t have one of those handy-dandy veggie peelers and the potato peeler doesn’t work very well on the eggplant so I use a knife to remove the skin. Just get ‘er done. Set your eggplant on its bottom and just cut straight down. After removing the skin, cut the ends off and start slicing. You will want your slices thin so that they will cook quickly.
Grab a cookie sheet and spray with Pam. After slicing your eggplant, dip each slice in egg and then dip in the Italian bread crumbs. Get them nice and coated and spread them on your cookie sheet in a single layer. I ended up using two baking sheets for mine. Place them in the oven for about 10 minutes.
While your eggplant is in the oven get your sauce ready. *If you normally use a particular spaghetti sauce you can use that* Pour about 1 tsp of olive oil in your skillet. Add 2 tbsp of minced garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add your can of sauce and stir. Add Parsley and basil and let it simmer until your eggplant is ready.
In a 9 x 13 dish you will want to layer sauce, eggplant, and cheese and end with your cheese. I did not have any Mozzarella. I forgot to add that to my grocery list so in the bottom layer I added Parmesan and Cheddar.
On the top layer I only added Parmesan. Sprinkle lots of basil on top. Set your timer for 20 minutes and place it back in the oven (uncovered).
Here’s a little secret. Last night was the first time I have ever had eggplant parmesan! I’ve had eggplant on pizza, grilled, in dips….but never like this. To me, my little dish was great. I hope you like it too!