Michael Symon's Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 large Italian Eggplant (peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick)
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/4 cup Olive Oil
- 3/4 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 1/2 cup Tomato Sauce
- 1 cup Whole Milk Ricotta
- 1 cup fresh Mozzarella (sliced thinly; should get about 10 slices)
- 1/4 cup Basil leaves (torn)
- Salt to taste
- freshly ground Black Pepper
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Season your eggplant with salt, about 1/2 teaspoon total and freshly ground black pepper. Lay the eggplant out in a single layer on an oiled sheet tray and place it in the oven until it starts to get golden brown and slightly dried out, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the eggplant from the sheet tray and set aside.
- Turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan and spread in to an even layer on a sheet tray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown and toasted. Make sure you check the breadcrumbs after about 5 minutes, moving the edges in and the center out for even toasting. Set aside.
- In an 8x8 pan, spoon 1/3 of the tomato sauce down. Place 4 slices of eggplant down followed by some ricotta, then mozzarella and basil. Season the cheese very lightly with salt then repeat the process 2 more times, ending with sauce on top. Top with the toasted parmesan breadcrumbs and bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbly.