Easy Eggplant Parmesan
This eggplant Parmesan recipe is so easy to make at home. I make sure that I have a couple of eggplants growing in my garden just so that I can make this dish every year. I also use my own garden tomatoes, they are always in abundance at the end of summer. You can make this dish easier on yourself if you use prepared spaghetti sauce or marinara. However, I prefer my own tomato sauce, so I make it from scratch. It is very easy to make the sauce at home, and I think it tastes better because I am using fresh veggies.
The toughest part of making tomato sauce is removing the skins, and that is really not hard to do at all. What you need to do ahead of time is have a pan of boiling water ready, drop the tomatoes in for about 30 seconds to a minute, and then quickly remove them into a bowl of ice water (or the kitchen sink filled with cold water). Their skins should literally start pulling off. If the skin does not break when you do this, just pierce it with a fork and it will come off. That's the hardest part of the whole recipe. I hope you try this out with fresh tomatoes for the best flavor.
- 1 medium - large eggplant
- 3 large tomatoes, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning, for sauce
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, fresh
- 1 tsp basil, fresh
Putting it all together
- Peel the eggplant and slice it into about 1/8 - 1/4 inch slices.
- Set up two bowls, one for dipping the eggplant slices into the milk and another one for dredging them through the breadcrumbs.
- Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium heat (I always use cast iron except for a few non-stick saucepans). Use enough oil (a few tablespoons) to cover the bottom of the pan.
- Dip the eggplant pieces into milk and then dredge them through the breadcrumbs to coat evenly on both sides.
- Once the oil is hot, fry each piece of eggplant in the skillet until golden brown, about 2 or 3 minutes per side.
- After the pieces finish frying, let them drip dry on a paper towel, this removes some of the grease for you from the finished dish.
- For the tomato sauce, cook your diced tomatoes (skin removed), garlic and Italian seasoning ahead of time. This lets the sauce thicken up a bit. I cooked my tomato sauce about an hour before beginning to fry the eggplant. You can also used any prepared spaghetti or marinara sauce that you like if you do not want to make your own.
- In a lightly greased 8 x 8 baking dish, place a layer of your tomato sauce and sprinkle it with Parmesan cheese. Then add a single layer of fried eggplant down. Pour a layer of tomato sauce over the eggplant, then more Parmesan cheese. Repeat layering until all the eggplant has been used.
- Place the 8 x 8 dish in the oven, preheated to 350°, for about 20 minutes. Pull out dish and add mozzarella cheese and fresh basil to the top, cook another 5-10 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes, then serve with garlic or Italian bread. Enjoy!