Well, it’s actually Eggplant Parmigiana. But the cheese I bought was spelled Parmesan, so that’s how I’m spelling the title of this dish.
This only took me 2 1/2 hours from start to finish. And that’s including washing all the dishes (by hand – I don’t have a dishwasher), the stove, and the counter top. Now don’t get scared off by the amount of time this dish took. It wasn’t all active prep time, a lot of it was sitting and waiting, or just periodically stirring. I was able to unpack a lot of groceries, sit down and eat dinner, and even chat with a friend during this time. My point? You should make this when you find you have a 2 1/2 hour chunk of time. I did this on a Sunday. I often make Monday night dinner on Sunday, actually. This way Monday after work is super relaxing. I made two portions, too. One for Monday night dinner and the other I froze for a rainy day (I just LOVE having a freezer in the basement).
Eggplant Parmesan, adapted from Alex Guarnaschelli:
Just a note: look ahead, it takes an hour to salt and drain the eggplant, so you might want to start with that before making the sauce.
For the sauce:
- Olive oil, to cover the bottom of a pan (I used my purple Le Creuset)
- 4 small yellow onions, sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- Kosher salt
- 1 scant tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 3 28-ounce cans whole peeled tomatoes. I used two plain and one with basil
1. In a giant pot (mine was 5 1/2 quarts and didn’t have that much room at the top, but Alex says to just use a large skillet) heat the olive oil over medium high heat and add the onions and garlic. Stir. Season with salt and red pepper flakes.
2. Add the sugar and canned tomatoes. Cook for 15 minutes over medium-high heat until the tomatoes soften. If necessary, cut small slits in them to help them break apart.
3. Allow to simmer while you make the rest of the dish.
For the eggplant:
- 2 medium eggplants, washed and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- 5 cups homemade bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 cups grated muenster cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 handfuls fresh basil, leaves only, torn or cut
1. Place the eggplant on either 2 baking sheets or cooling racks in a single layer. Sprinkle both sides with salt and let sit for one hour.
2. Rinse thoroughly with water and drain on a kitchen towel or paper towel.
3. Set up your breading station: Mix the flour with some salt in one plate. Combine the eggs with the milk, salt, and pepper in another. Mix the breadcrumbs with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning in another.
4. Coat each slice in the flour, then egg, then bread crumb mixture, making sure to shake off any excess. Place rounds on baking sheets in individual layer (I needed two).
5. Broil the eggplant slices for 4 minutes on each side, until the breadcrumbs begin to turn brown. Watch closely so they don’t burn.
6. Assemble: Use either one 9×13 dish or two smaller. Place sauce on the bottom, then top with eggplant slices in a single layer. Place some basil slices on top. Top with about 1/2 cup of muenster cheese and a few tablespoons Parmesan. Repeat two more times – it will probably come past the top of the dish, but that’s okay. It’ll shrink a bit in the oven. Put lots of cheese on the top layer.
7. Place on baking sheet in 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until the top is bubbly. If you want some extra browning on top, place under broiler for 2 minutes after baking.