Meatless Mondays with Eggplant Parmesan!

So everyone knows that Meatless Monday is a new thing and it should be – it’s delicious! Cooking for a vegetarian has been a wonderful experience as I am trying and using new techniques and different recipes that I might not have tried before. Well, as a special treat, I made my boyfriend’s favorite dish – Eggplant Parmesan. It took forever, but it was well worth the wait! Here’s what you’ll need:

1 large eggplant
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano is the only way to go), tomatoes diced and juices saved
fresh basil (or dried – then just improvise)
1.5 cups breadcrumbs
1 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup flour
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
Fresh mozzarella slices

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First, you need to prep your eggplant. Cut into about 1/4 in thick slices and lightly season with salt. Let it sit out and dry to soak up all the moisture. Pat dry. While you are doing that, heat up olive oil and garlic in a pan and slowly add the tomatoes and juices.

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Bring the sauce to a boil and then let simmer for 15 minutes uncovered on low heat. Once simmered, remove from heat. Meanwhile, you can start to set up your dredging station. You’ll need one pan for your egg wash, one pan for flour, and then one pan with your breadcrumb parmesan mix and get two sheet pans ready (slightly oiled)

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After you pat your eggplants dry, dip in flour, then egg wash and then coat with the breadcrumbs. Make sure to get as much flour and egg wash on as possible because that helps the breadcrumbs stick to the eggplant. Repeat until all slices are breaded.

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Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and cook the eggplant slices for 10 minutes, flip over and cook the other side for 10 minutes. Once they have started to brown, you can start assembling your dish. First, ladle sauce on the bottom of your dish so that it just covers the bottom. Then, top with your eggplant slices, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and then more sauce. Repeat until all slices are used.

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Cook them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Take out and top with more cheese and enjoy!

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This was super delicious – it had a nice warming flavor from the sauce (red pepper flakes obvi came to the rescue!) and it was delicious and gooey and cheesy. A lot of times with Eggplant Parmesan, the eggplant can get a little soggy, but luckily ours held up to the heat and breading and stayed nice and crispy. Great texture, great flavor, and even tastes amazing the next day! It has been boyfriend approved so I would say this one is a winner 🙂

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