Eggplant Parmesan & the Dinner Request That Nudged Me to Make It

Eggplant Parmesan is such an indulgent Italian dish that I always order it at restaurants. Deep fried breaded eggplant patties baked with gooey cheese and marinara sauce, what’s not to like with this combination? It hits the fried food craving, cheese craving, and Italian food craving, all in one dish.

Eggplant Parmesan is not easy to make so when my cousin Nando requested I make it for our Italian-themed dinner last weekend, needless to say I was hesitant.  Eggplant Parmesan looks like one of those items that you just get at an Italian restaurant, not something you actually make at home – you know what I mean? But here I got this request from my cousin and I thought I owe it to him to at least browse and look for an easy recipes on-line.

Let me start off by mentioning that eggplant Parmesan is not a quick dish to make.  All the recipes I checked-out looked complicated, yet I ventured to make eggplant Parmesan anyway.  After having made it for the first time for our dinner get together, I can honestly say that this is not a complicated recipe to follow, but it is a time-consuming recipe to make. Having said that, will I make eggplant Parmesan again? Absolutely! Now that I know what steps are involved in making this decadent Italian dish, it will go faster next time and it will taste just as outstanding as the first time I made it.

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The recipe I chose to follow is this one from Allrecipes.com Eggplant Parmesan from Allrecipes.com. In this no-fry eggplant Parmesan recipe the breaded eggplant patties are roasted in the oven before it is baked with cheese and marinara sauce.  But as you can see in the picture below, the eggplant really doesn’t get brown and crispy like the ones in the restaurants. That’s because restaurants fry their eggplant patties, but since I chose a recipe that bakes the breaded eggplant and not fry the patty,  I didn’t get that golden crispy eggplant.

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To make my eggplant patties look fried I made this modification to the recipe – I lightly pan-fried the eggplant patties with a drizzle of olive oil after they were roasted. Also, the recipe says to only bake the breaded patties or 5 minutes, but I like my eggplant soft and tender so that when I cut into it, it cuts like butter.  To get this tender eggplant texture I baked the breaded eggplant patties for 20 minutes rather than the recipe’s suggested 5 minutes. Both these modifications worked! My eggplant Parmesan tasted outstanding!  The eggplant was soft and buttery, cheesy gooey, and it even had those crispy edges that make eggplant Parmesan taste so yummy.

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So if you are intimidated like me to make Eggplant Parmesan at home, don’t be. Once you understand the basic steps involved in making this delectable Italian dish, it is a no-brainer. Give it a try! Here is a look at my eggplant Parmesan making process.

How to Make Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Parmesan from Allrecipes.com.

Step 1: Cut the eggplant and soak the slices in salt water to release any moisture from the eggplant.

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Step 2: Prepare the ingredients for the breaded batter.  One tray with egg wash. One tray with breadcrumb and panko mixture.

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Step 3: Pat dry the eggplant slices and coat eggplant in egg, and then in breadcrumbs.   Place on a baking tray in a single layer.

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Step 4: My modification: Bake for 20 minutes.

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Step 5: My modification: Lightly pan-fry the roasted eggplant patties in oil to get them crispy and golden brown.

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Step 6: Place eggplant patties on a baking dish. Top with marinara sauce, and then with mozzarella cheese and Parmesan cheese. Repeat this process in layers until all the eggplant patties are used up.

Step 7:  Bake in oven for 45 minutes until cheese is melted and eggplant is hot and bubbly.   Serve warm with a side of pasta.

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Eggplant Parmesan Ingredients List:

  • 3 eggplants, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
  • 6 cups spaghetti sauce, divided
  • 1 (16 ounce) package mozzarella cheese, shredded and divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt
  • Olive oil for pan-frying the eggplant patties

Eggplant Parmesan from Allrecipes.com

Here is a look at our Italian-themed dinner with our cousins and their families.

Vegetarian Italian-inspired Dinner Menu

Appetizers:
Rani’s goat cheese and apple on cracker
Warm pull-apart cheesy bread – Uma
Dinner:
Eggplant Parmesan
Asparagus Leeks Kale and Zucchini Rigatoni
Salad – Meera
Bruschetta
Garlic Bread
Dessert:
Gourmet cookies, homemade coffee cake and Gelato

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10 thoughts on “Eggplant Parmesan & the Dinner Request That Nudged Me to Make It”

    1. When we first landed in Ny and visited Uma in her NJ home, She made Egg Plant Pamesan which my hubby and I enjoyed very much. If you want to learn Eggplant Parmesan recipe, approach Uma. Deepika is an expert too . I also use Ricotta cheese besides Parmesan and mozzarella, I use small fat Italian Eggplants Not Japanese or Indian… It is time consuming but it is well worth the effort to make this great tasting dish.

      Liked by 1 person

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