Eggplant parmigiana is a staple in Italian-American cooking and it’s one of my favorite dishes. I can still taste my mother’s version. She favored rolling the eggplant in flour, followed by egg and then frying it to a crisp golden brown before topping the slices with meat sauce and mozzarella. While I do enjoy fried eggplant, my baked parm is healthier and almost as tasty. Part of the reason is that I forgo the flour and coat my eggplant in panko, or japanese, breadcrumb which gives it a delightfully crisp texture without the vat of oil. To start, I peeled and sliced an eggplant into disc-shaped slices.
From there, I dipped each slice in egg and then rolled it in the panko. Sometimes I use whole wheat panko, but today I opted for white.
From the eggwash, I transferred the eggplant to a cookie sheet and baked them for 40 minutes at 375 degrees, flipping them once at the 20 minute mark. When they emerged, they were nicely browned and perfectly crispy. I sampled one before adding the sauce and cheese and it was delicious.
To make the parmigiana, I repeatedly layered the slices, my marinara sauce and fresh mozzarella, so that they looked like little lasagna squares. The covered casserole dish went back into the oven for another 20 minutes, followed by five minutes uncovered.
Yum! We’ll have this for dinner tonight along with salad and a smorgasborg of leftovers that are in the fridge. I’m headed to Connecticut tomorrow to start prepping for my friend Heather’s bridal shower this weekend. Stay tuned for pictures!