26 November 2020

Eggplant Parmesan - Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Eggplant Parmesan - Aubergine Parmigiana - Melanzane alla Parmigiana / www.delightfulrepast.com


Eggplant Parmesan (Aubergine Parmigiana) is something I most often make in the same way I make Chicken Parmesan, which is wonderful, but once in a while I'm in the mood for a sort of lasagne-like, casserole-style version. As you might expect, I've streamlined it!

For this style, I skip the breading. I don't even dredge the eggplant slices in flour. And, of course, I skip the laborious salting and draining and blotting dry that is supposed to remove the bitterness because I've never had a bitter eggplant in my entire life. And I skip the frying because it makes such a mess and does nothing for the texture of this dish. 

Eggplant Parmesan - Aubergine Parmigiana - Melanzane alla Parmigiana (this image my original watercolor) / www.delightfulrepast.com
You know I can't resist painting the groceries!

If I had to pick one "must" it would be: Slice the eggplant (aubergine) 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick, the perfect thickness to give the proper texture. Also, cut lengthwise slices rather than rounds to give structure to the dish. That, along with going easy on the sauce, will make tidy layers that will slice into neat squares rather than spoonable blobs. 

Meant to be served warm, not hot—some people even serve it cold—it must rest for 25 or 30 minutes before slicing and serving, which also contributes to its holding its shape rather than collapsing on the plate.

I hope you'll try it soon and let me know how you liked it and if my directions need any clarification.

Eggplant Parmesan - Aubergine Parmigiana - Melanzane alla Parmigiana / www.delightfulrepast.com

If you like it, please Pin it and share it!

Eggplant Parmesan - Aubergine Parmigiana


(Makes 4 to 6 servings)

The Sauce

(Makes about 3 cups, more than you need)

1 28-ounce can fire roasted crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon parsley flakes
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

The Eggplant

2 pounds eggplant
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

The Cheese

1/2 pound (8 ounces/227 grams) thinly sliced or shredded mozzarella
2/3 cup medium grated (2 ounces/57 grams) parmesan


1 In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (visibly bubbling), loosely covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally, to reduce and thicken. Pour it into a 4-cup glass measure to cool while proceeding with recipe and to see how much sauce you have. If you have more than 2 1/4 cups, save the extra for another use; if you have less, add water to make 2 1/4 cups or just use a little less sauce in each layer. The dish isn't supposed to be too saucy.

2 Preheat oven to 450F/230C/Gas8. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper. Spread 1 tablespoon of olive oil over each parchment. Wash, but do not peel, the eggplants. Peel back the calyx (the green tops) of the eggplants, cut off just the minimum at the top and a bit off the bottom so that they can stand, and slice the standing eggplants lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Or you can square off the sides just a bit and make the slices with the eggplants on their sides, if that's easier. 

3 Place on baking sheets in single layer, but crowding a bit is fine. Brush with remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes. Check them. Rotate the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back. Bake until the slices are quite dried, perhaps browned, but not burnt, checking in a few minutes. The slices will not need turning and baking on the other side unless you've cut them thicker.

4 Reduce heat to 375F/190C/Gas5. Lightly oil or butter, or spray with cooking spray, an 8x8x2-inch baking dish. Assemble: Spread 1/4 cup of sauce in the dish. Then make 4 layers of a fourth of the eggplant, 1/2 cup sauce, about a fourth of the mozzarella, about a fourth of the parmesan. Bake for abut 25 to 30 minutes. Let stand for 25 to 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon .com and affiliated sites, earning a small commission at no cost to you on purchases made through our links. This helps cover some of the costs of running the blog. Thank you for your support. 

Jean

54 comments:

Angie's Recipes said...

Looks absolutely mouthwatering! Well, it has got to be delicious with my favourite Parmesan :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Angie. Wish I'd popped a few slices in the freezer instead of devouring it all!

Richard Sheppard said...

Great idea to bake the eggplant rather than frying and your right, frying makes a terrible mess, so if it doesn't make a difference in the texture, so much the better! I've also had the problem of the eggplant soaking up enormous amounts of oil too while frying. Now I'm tempted to make this dish for the first time in decades. Might be interesting to mix eggplant and chicken together. Hummmmm.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Richard, thank you! Yes, do try it! But it's so satisfying the way it is, I'd try it without the chicken first. Or do half with and half without? Let me know!

Dee | Grammy's Grid said...

Looks really tasty and I have to compliment you on your painting! You're really good at it!! Thanks so much for linking up with me at my party #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 19, open until December 26 at 12:05 am. Shared on social media. I invite you to check out all of my themed parties!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Dee, thank you. AND for noticing my painting! I'm having a lot of fun with it!

Lynn said...

Such an artist with food and paint! Looks like a lovely
recipe to try soon.

Tamago said...

I loooove eggplant and your dish looks so good! Cheese and eggplant go really well together :-)

Louca por porcelana said...

Hummm,looks great!Beautiful painting.Happy Thanksgiving!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Lynn, thank you so much! I hope you'll try it soon and let me know how it turned out.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Tamago. I love your enthusiasm for eggplant, I think it's a most wonderful vegetable!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Maristella, thank you! Happy Autumn (or is it Spring there?)!

Thomas "Sully" Sullivan said...

What can I say? Eggplant sounds like a misguided chimera hybrid and looks like a blackjack. On the other hand, not eating one gives me one more thing to be grateful for on Thanksgiving. In any case, my warmest wishes go out to you whatever you grace your table with and however you spend the holiday!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sully. No, you won't find chimera on the menu at Delightful Repast! Perhaps if you called it aubergine instead of eggplant such hideous pictures would not come up into your mind and you'd be able to at least try it!

Kitchen Riffs said...

I'm definitely rarely breading things these days, and usually don't flour, either. And I've done that whole eggplant salting thing but haven't noticed it made much difference in flavor/bitterness/whatever. Any difference, really. So I don't. Now, what I haven't done is made this dish in forever. That will change, though. Really nice version of a classic -- thanks.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks so much, KR! Hope you and Mrs Riff are enjoying life despite the pandemic!

Sherry's Pickings said...

this looks so fantastic Jean. i am drooling here. I adore eggplant, and yes i agree - i've never found the need to salt it first either! and once again, i looooove your painting.
cheers
sherry

TONY said...

I like the way you have got the light reflecting off your egg plant water colours Jean. Great stuff.
When Marilyn and I make lasagnes we often put egg plants and other vegetables into the ingredients.
I can' remember making one without minced beef but then that's just me in this household. One of my daughters, Emily, is into vegetarian versions of things so I am sure she has made one like yours and Marilyn probably too. My reservations in whether they have or not is down to the fact that I have most likely really enjoyed their lasagnes and just not realised that the minced beef was missing. But anyway, this all looks good Jean. What was it you have called yours,"Eggplant Parmesan - Melanzane alla Parmigiana." You and Mr Delightful must do a culinary tour of Italy!!!!!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Sherry! I really do have fun painting the groceries! AND eating them!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Tony, thank you. I'm sure we would love a culinary tour of Italy. A meaty aubergine dish you might like, in case you've not already tried it, is moussaka. The Greeks probably make it with ground lamb, but I use ground beef. Thanks for commenting on the details of my watercolours; it's helpful.

Victoria Zigler said...

I'm glad I came across your blog... I get such tasty recipe ideas, even if I have to tweak them to make them vegan friendly. Won't take much to make this one vegan friendly, and sounds like it will definitely be a very tasty dinner.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Victoria. Since it's the flavour of the aubergines and the flavour of the sauce that dominate, you should still have a tasty dish no matter what tweaks you need to make it vegan. Hope you like it!

Victoria Zigler said...

That's what I was thinking... One of those easily customizable while keeping the essential aspects of the flavours kinds of dishes. :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Exactly!

Lowcarb team member said...

Mouth-watering
Delicious
Scrumptious
Yummy

I could eat some now :)

Have a lovely weekend.

All the best Jan

Linda Stoll said...

Oh your artwork, Jean! You are one multi-talented woman!

So good to meet you this week ...

Gloria Baker said...

looks wonderful Jean we really love eggplant!!

Cheryl said...

I've been thinking about what to do with my leftover turkey, and now all of a sudden I want eggplant Parmesan! Your changes to the traditional method all sound like improvements to me. Thanks for the pointers for making a healthier dish. It looks delicious!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Jan, thanks so much. Even Mr Delightful likes it, so I thought others would, too! :-)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Aaww, Linda, thank you! And I was so happy to meet you this week!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, Gloria. I love finding another eggplant fan!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Cheryl, thank you! I haven't had turkey in several months, so your leftover turkey sounds good to me. I hope you'll try this soon and let me know what you think.

ellen b. said...

Well...this looks good! :o) Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Ellen. Happy December (almost)! The year has flown.

Marilyn Miller said...

Sounds yummy!

Phil in the Kitchen said...

That's a fine and very inviting version of a great classic. I wish I could say that I'd never had a bitter aubergine (eggplant) but I can still remember some pretty horrible examples back around 30 or 40 years ago. They're so much better these days and I'm told that this is down to the dedication and skill of plant breeders. It was a plant breeder who told me that, though, so he might have been a little biased.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Marilyn!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Phil. Yes, I think the plant breeders took care of that problem quite a few years ago. I just love prebaking the thin slices. If you let them go a bit longer, they're rather like crisps, which is not a bad thing!

French Ethereal said...

Oh my, Jean!! Your recipe and all the photos show your Eggplant Parmesan to best effect; it looks just delicious!! Happy to feature your post this week at Share Your Style #284. <3

Blessings to you,
Barb :)

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Barb, thank you so much! And for the feature! Wishing you a wonderful winter.

Cocoa and Lavender said...

So many things I like about this recipe, Jean. First, baking the eggplant instead of frying it makes all the difference. Much less oil and fat is far better… Also, I never found that the breading added anything to the recipe. This is one serious pan of comfort!

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you, David! And I love that: "one serious pan of comfort!" And it's one way Mr Delightful will eat eggplant; he hates dips and "mushy stuff" and will not even try baba ghanoush.

My Big Fat Menopausal Life said...

I love eggplant! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party! Have a wonderful weekend and hope to see you this Sunday at the party.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank *you,* LG!

April Harris said...

Jean, Your Eggplant Parmesan looks so delicious! I haven't ever had a bitter eggplant either, so I love that you've skipped the salting step and I'm pleased you skipped the breading as well. I hope to give this recipe a try soon as both my husband and I love eggplant parmesan!! Thank you so much for sharing and for your support of Hearth and Soul. Take care.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

April, thank you so much. I hope you both like it! Have a cosy and wonderful winter!

Miz Helen said...

Your awesome post is featured on Full Plate, 513 this week. Thanks so much for sharing with us and come back soon!
Miz Helen

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thank you so much, Miz Helen!

R's Rue said...

Yum

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

TY, R!

Karen (Back Road Journal) said...

I know I would enjoy your recipe because I don't usually like eggplant Parmesan made the eggplant coated in breadcrumbs.

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks, Karen! I don't think breadcrumbs and layering mix well—usually turns to sludge!

Kavey said...

Loving your groceries painting

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

Thanks! I have a lot of fun with the groceries!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...