Simple Baked Eggplant
Amanda Jaber's Eggplant Parm
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2 large Japanese eggplants (about 2 pounds)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
- 1 pound fresh mozzarella (sliced 1/8-inch thick)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- Mix the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Place the breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl. Whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy. Dip each eggplant slice in the flour mixture, then into the beaten egg whites, and then into the breadcrumbs to coat completely.
- Heat the oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot (the surface will appear to be shimmering), 2 to 3 minutes. Add half of the eggplant slices. Cook until deep golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer the eggplant to a paper-towel-lined plate. Fry the remaining eggplant. (Can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
- Preheat a broiler. Spread 1 generous teaspoon of the sauce over each eggplant slice. Top with a rounded teaspoon of the Parmesan; place mozzarella slices a top of the eggplant slices and press lightly to adhere. Transfer the eggplant slices to a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until the cheese has melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mini eggplant parmesans to a platter and garnish each with small basil leaf. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes before serving.
- To Bake Eggplant: Preheat oven with a baking sheet inside to 375°F. Coat eggplant slices with beaten egg, flour, then bread with crumbs. Spread oil on hot baking sheet and place eggplant slices on it in a single layer. Bake 15 minutes, flip and bake another 10 minutes.
- Increase oven temperature to 475°F. In an 8 x 10-pan, layer pasta sauce, then eggplant, and top with cheeses. Repeat, finishing with cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and turns golden in spots, about 15 minutes.
- Tips: 1. To plate, build eggplant parm stacks individually, then bake in the oven, instead of making a whole big dish.
- 2. Spread a little sauce on the plate at the bottom for color, then place the stacks on top.
- 3. Top with a chiffonade of basil instead of a whole basil leaf.