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Eggplant Parmesan-Vegetarian Delight

Updated on November 13, 2014

My family loves to have a meatless Monday meal and I strive bring them as many different vegetarian dishes as I can. One of our most favorites is Eggplant Parmesan which is terrific right out of the oven but can also taste wonderful on a sandwich the next day. I learned a few very simple tips which make my eggplant dish taste better than average if you don't mind my saying.

Tip #1 - Instead of buying your breadcrumbs in a container, consider making your own from day old bread and mixing in some Parmesan cheese for some extra goodness.

Tip #2 - After slicing your eggplant, lightly salt each side and set it aside for about 30 minutes, this will take away much of the bitterness that you often find in eggplant.

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 of a 16 ounce block of mozzarella cheese-thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Combine bread crumbs, oregano and basil in a shallow dish
  3. Dip each slice of eggplant in the bread crumbs coating both sides
  4. Using medium heat, cook the eggplant slices in a skillet with just a splash of oil for 2 minutes a side until light brown
  5. Place eggplant in a single layer in an ungreased baking dish-I use a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish.
  6. In a small pan saute the garlic in a teaspoon of oil for 2 minutes-then add tomatoes, salt and pepper
  7. Cook until this mixture is thoroughly heated
  8. Pour the tomato mixture over the eggplant slices and top with mozzarella and sprinkle Parmesan over all
  9. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes
  10. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving
Cuisinart CI1136-24CR Chef's Classic Enameled Cast Iron 14-Inch Roasting/Lasagna Pan, Cardinal Red
Cuisinart CI1136-24CR Chef's Classic Enameled Cast Iron 14-Inch Roasting/Lasagna Pan, Cardinal Red

Love this pan, it's heavy but makes a beautiful dish for eggplant or lasagna

 
This is one of the most popular varieties of eggplants.
This is one of the most popular varieties of eggplants. | Source

Some Interesting Eggplant Facts

Eggplants are planted in most gardens as annuals but in fact they are a perennial vegetable. There are many different varieties of eggplant and they are now available at your grocery store year around. The very best eggplants come from August through October right from your local farmers market. Eggplants are in the same family as tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes which is the nightshade family of vegetables. Eggplants are loaded with vitamins and minerals and also has some antioxidants which are great for your health.

An interesting fact - Male eggplants are usually not as bitter as the females (bet you didn't know there were boy and girl eggplants). Females always have more seeds which gives the eggplant a slight bitter taste. How do you tell the girls from the boys? Check out the blossom scar on the bottom of the eggplant. If it's a long slit, it's a girl. If it's smaller and circular, it's a boy.

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    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      We love to go meatless at least a couple days a week and this is one of our favorites too!Enjoy!

    • LindaSmith1 profile image

      LindaSmith1 

      3 years ago from USA

      I like my meat. I was talked into eating a veggie lasagna once by co-workers and loved it. I love eggplant but only know to fry it. This would be a nice change with or without meat.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Thank you @ocfireflies-Enjoy!

    • ocfireflies profile image

      ocfireflies 

      3 years ago from North Carolina

      How incredibly scrumptious and informative. I did not know there was such an easy way to tell the eggplants apart. Will be trying this one soon for I want to do it especially since this is the best time of year. Great hub and voted up for sure.

      ocfireflies aka Kim

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Hi Pam - I have a picky husband too and this seems to be the answer! thanks for stopping by : )

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      3 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Thanks for the salt tip on the eggplant. It doesn't bother me...I always eat the skin, but my husband is picky. This might do the trick!

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      3 years ago from Jersey Shore

      SandyMertens give it a try, I think you'll really like it! Thanks for visiting : )

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 

      3 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      I have never had eggplant. Something that I need to try.

    • Charito1962 profile image

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 

      4 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      I'd love to taste it! My mouth's watering!

    • VioletteRose LM profile image

      VioletteRose LM 

      4 years ago

      wow looks delicious, I love eggplants.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 

      4 years ago from San Francisco

      I'm delighted to find another family who observes Meatless Monday here on Squidoo. Some time ago, I stopped buying eggplant because quite often I did not enjoy the recipes I made with it, and my sweetheart refused to eat them, but I am going to give this a try because of your tip to reduce bitterness by salting the eggplant and let it rest for 30 minutes. I'm thinking that might also draw out some of the excess moisture as well, which might make them a little less slimy in texture. Yes?

    • profile image

      tonyleather 

      4 years ago

      Like the sound of this!

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      @Margaret Schindel: Thanks for visiting!

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 

      4 years ago from Massachusetts

      This sounds very similar to how we make eggplant parmesan at our house! Really delicious. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • Nithya Venkat profile image

      Nithya Venkat aka Vellur 

      4 years ago from Dubai

      Great easy to make recipe. Must try.

    • MartieG profile imageAUTHOR

      MartieG aka 'survivoryea' 

      4 years ago from Jersey Shore

      @DawnRae64: It really is a yummy dish----you're welcome anytime!

    • DawnRae64 profile image

      Dawn 

      4 years ago from Maryland, USA

      Yummy! I want to eat at your house on Mondays if this is the kind of thing you serve. It looks good!

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