Divine Dinner Party

Eggs-celent Eggplant Parmesan Recipe Ideas and Tips

Having at least one eggplant parmesan recipe is nearly mandatory in most Italian homes.... and some very un-Italian homes, like my own. You don't have to hail from Italy to love --and want to create-- a perfect plate of eggplant parmesana.
After all, it's nearly a perfect food: it's great comfort food, it's cheap to put together, it's healthy, and while it's a dish well-suited to any guests or family who may be vegetarian, it doesn't feel vegetarian. It's rich and meaty and utterly satisfying.

Tips for the Best Eggplant Parmesan Recipe Tried making eggplant parmesana before and disappointed with the texture? Here's a tip to use for any of the recipes on this page: make sure you get as much moisture as possible out of the eggplant prior to preparing the dish. This makes a meatier textured end product where the sauce holds up perfectly... not to mention a crispier coating.

When choosing vegetables for making eggplant parmesan, another tip is to look for smaller eggplants. These are sweeter (a lot of people object to the slight bitterness of most eggplant) and have fewer seeds. Also make sure the eggplant is firm but ripe (it shouldn't be green when you cut into it) and shows no signs of browning or mold.

Read on for my two favorite recipes for eggplant parmesan: one using jarred sauce, and a more authetic recipe made using fresh tomatoes. And remember, you'll find more great Italian dinner party recipes right here, including:

Authentic Italian Eggplant Parm Recipe Made with Fresh Tomatoes

Eggplant Parmesana recipe made with fresh tomatoes
Nothing tastes as beautifully summery and full of good, wholesome ingredients like this recipe, using fresh tomatoes combined with other lovely fresh ingredients, like fresh herbs and mozzarella.

This eggplant parmesan recipe takes a little extra time to prepare, as you'll have to take the time to make your own sauce from fresh tomatoes. But the resulting flavor will have you and your guests coming back for seconds and thirds.

Tip: If you can prepare this eggplant parmesan recipe a day ahead, then re-warm it, you'll find that resting period enriches the overall taste.

Serves about 5.

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    Ingredients:
  • 4 lbs. fresh eggplant
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 1/2 lbs fresh, ripe tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup white onion, minced
  • Fresh basil to taste (use plenty!)
  • 3/4 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese (smoked if possible)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Black pepper, fresh ground to taste
Instructions: 1. Blanch, peel, and chop the tomatoes.

2. Place the chopped tomatoes in a strainer, allowing excess liquid to drain off.

3. Put the tomatoes in a non-reactive pan, cooking them with the minced onion and a pinch of basil.

4. Once the tomatoes soften, process them using a sieve or food mill, and return them to the cooking pan.

5. Simmer over a low heat until they thicken just slightly. Remove from the heat.

6. Prepare the eggplants by peeling them, and slicing into quarter-inch pieces.

7. Sprinkle salt on each piece to release the juices. Putting a plate on top of the slices helps this process.

8. After 2 hours rinse the slices thoroughly, patting them dry.

9. Layout some paper towels to gather oil during the frying process.

10. Heat up your frying oil to 400 degrees.

11. Drop a few slices at a time into the oil, leaving them until they turn lightly golden.

12. Carefully remove them from the fryer and drain on the paper towels.

13. Slice the mozzarella and cut it into strips. Mince the fresh basil.

14. Spray the bottom of a 10-inch cooking pan that's at least 3" deep with vegetable oil.

15. Pour two tbsp. of the fresh tomato sauce over the bottom

16. Whisk your eggs into 2/3 cup of tomato sauce in a different pan.

17. Use 1/3 of the eggplant, layering it into the bottom of the pan. Make sure your slices overlap a bit.

18. Follow with 3 tbsp. egg sauce, 2-3 tbsp. grated parm and a sprinkling of basil equivalent to about 5 minced leaves.

19. Repeat this two more times.

20. Top the dish with any remaining cheese and sauce.

21. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. The dish will be golden brown on top.

My Easy but Delicious Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan recipe made easy!Sure, dishes like this are probably best when made fresh and from scratch using great ingredients. And while we probably all aspire to cook this way as much as we can, sometimes you want something comforting, healthy, and delicious without all the effort.

This eggplant parmesan recipe saves you a little time in the kitchen, as it uses a pre-packaged sauce instead of a fresh sauce. It's also a great way to use up leftover homemade marinara and tastes really wonderful with my special Italian spaghetti sauce recipe.

If you feel adventurous, try lightly roasting the eggplant before breading and frying. Just a minute on each side is sufficient, and adds smokiness to the dish. This step makes the frying portion faster, so take care not to let the slices get over-cooked, particularly if you're using Chinese eggplant, which has a thinner skin.

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    Ingredients:
  • 3 Chinese eggplants or 2 purple eggplants (medium sized)
  • Fresh ground salt
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. flour
  • 4 large eggs, whisked
  • 2 c. flavored breadcrumbs
  • 3 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 c. prepared marinara sauce
Instructions: 1. To start this eggplant parmesan recipe, prepare the Chinese eggplant by washing them and trimming the ends.

2. Cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick

3. Salt each slice on both sides then place in a strainer or on paper towels to remove excess moisture.

4. Rinse after one hour and pat dry.

5. Gather three dishes, one for the flour, one for eggs, and one for the breadcrumbs.

6. Dip the slices of eggplant in flour, followed by a drenching in egg, and a coating of bread crumbs. Set aside for frying.

7. Heat your frying pan with vegetable oil.

8. Put in a few slices so you have room to easily turn them. Brown the slices lightly on both sides.

9. Drain off any excess oil using paper towels.

10. Prepare a 9x13 oven safe dish with a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom (2 tbsp. should do it).

11. Put down a layer of eggplant slices followed by sauce and cheese. Repeat until you're out of ingredients.

12. Move into a preheated 350 degree oven for about a half hour until the cheese melts.

13. Let this eggplant parmesan recipe cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.


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The date for Easter falls on April 20th this year!

Take a look at Easter Dinner and Party Planning for recipes, edd dye tips, assembling Easter baskets, and more!

And plan to make this adorable...

It's so cute, it may be the best thing you do this Easter.

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