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It is my first time planting eggplants in my garden and I got just enough to make this Eggplant Parmigiana recipe.
Eggplant Parmigiana is a classic Italian vegetable dish where the slices of eggplant are arranged in a dish alternating with a tomato basil sauce, and cheese for a tasty result! It is a great alternative to lasagna.
In the traditional recipe, eggplants are deep-fried but to lighten it up, I grilled them.
This Eggplant Parmigiana is really great on its own or it can be served as a side dish with grilled meat, fish, or even a green salad.
- 3 medium eggplants
- 1 cup parmesan finely grated
- 10-12 oz fresh mozzarella drained (diced or sliced)
- ½ cup panko
For the homemade tomato sauce:
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove peeled and finely diced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 28 oz can good quality crushed tomatoes or 2 lb fresh ripe tomatoes
- salt pepper
- 12 basil leaves
- Preheat oven at 400 F.
- Cut the two ends off eggplants. Slice them lengthwise into ¼ inch thick slices. Place them evenly on two baking sheets covered with parchment paper. Brush each slice with a little bit of olive oil. Grill both sides until lightly golden and tender (about 15 minutes, turning halfway).
The tomato sauce:
- If you use fresh tomatoes: Prick each tomato before adding them in boiling water for 40 seconds. Then put them in a bowl of cold water for 30 seconds. Remove the skin, the seeds and cut them.
- In a large pan, heat olive oil, add onions, garlic, and oregano. Cook until soft and translucent (5-10 minutes). Add the fresh tomatoes or the can of tomatoes. Stir, put a lid and let simmer slowly for 15 minutes. When the tomato sauce is reduced add salt, and pepper. If the tomato sauce is too chunky, you can puree it if you prefer.
- In a rectangular 2-quart baking dish, put a small layer of tomato sauce, 4 basil leaves torn, a little bit of mozzarella and parmesan. Top with a single layer of eggplant. Repeat these layers until all the ingredients are used up, finishing with the tomato sauce.
- For the topping of the dish, you can add a few slices of mozzarella (optional) and/or sprinkle a mix of breadcrumb, parmesan, and oregano.
- Place the dish in the oven for about 25-30 minutes until golden, crisp, and bubbly. Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting with a sharp knife and serving.
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