Although eggplant is not the most commonly used food, it is a versatile "vegetable" (which is actually a fruit) that is great for variety and is also a healthy choice. There are many interesting and simple recipes that incorporate eggplant, one favorite being Eggplant Parmesan.
Breading and Cooking Eggplant
Eggplant Parmesan is definitely not a scientific recipe. Amounts depend greatly on the size or quantity of eggplant but include:
- eggplant that is firm, shiny, heavy but not too large, and has a green stem.
- eggs (1-2 per eggplant to be cooked)
- seasoned bread crumbs (1/4-1/2 C per eggplant)
- olive oil
- approximately 30 oz tomato sauce
- 1-2 C shredded mozarella cheese
- dried oregano and salt to taste
- To start with, the eggplant is breaded and fried or. Do this by peeling and slicing the eggplant into 1/4-1/2 inch slices. If the eggplant is young and fresh enough, the peeling can be left on to increase the health benefits.
- After the eggplant has been sliced as desired, dip each slice in egg and seasoned bread crumbs and fry in olive oil over medium heat, 3-5 minutes on each side. It works best if you keep plenty of oil (1-2 Tbsp) in the pan while frying. Alternatively, the eggplant can also be baked, with some variations on the ingredients and instructions.
- Once the eggplant is cooked, it is ready to use immediately or to freeze. If freezing, place flat in zip-lock style gallon freezer bags. The eggplant can be layered to fit more in the bag if you place waxed paper between. When Eggplant Parmesan is desired, pull out as many slices as needed to prepare the dish as directed below.
Eggplant Parmesan Assembly
When ready to use the eggplant to make Eggplant Parmesan, gather the remaining ingredients.
- Spray pan with a non-stick spray and spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in the bottom. Next, place a layer of eggplant, overlapping pieces slightly.
- Spread another thin layer of tomato sauce, sprinkle with salt and dried oregano to taste, and a little bit of cheese. Keep repeating until you have 2-3 layers of eggplant. End by spreading cheese over the top.
- To bake, cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the sauce is hot and bubbly and the cheese is melted.