Melanzane alla Parmigiana

Whenever my son, Joe, and I try a new Italian restaurant, the “one dish” that is a make-or-break decision to return, is eggplant Parmesan. The ingredients should compliment one another. The sauce must not overpower the dish nor the flavor of the eggplant be lost under a mound of cheese. An arugula salad with warm balsamic dressing and a platter of bruschette make this traditional family favorite a terrific meal any day of the year!

 

Ingredients:

  1. In a small bowl, beat the egg with a fork and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow plate. (How to prepare eggplant-see Eggs Nola)
  3. Dip a slice of eggplant in egg, then in breadcrumbs, shaking off excess. Repeat with remaining slices. If the eggplant is large, you may need the 2nd egg.
  4. Using a large skillet, heat a generous amount of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggplant in batches if necessary so as not to overcrowd the pan. (As for the pan size, you never want to crowd a pan when frying because, the moisture released from the food lowers the temperature of the oil and causes uneven browning). Cook on each side until golden brown, seasoning with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer to baking sheet and keep warm in oven.
  5. When ready to serve, place slices of mozzarella alternately between eggplant, overlapping slightly. Return to oven until cheese melts.
  6. Ladle sauce into shallow bowls, place a portion of eggplant and cheese in the sauce. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan and a scattering of parsley. If by chance, you have any leftovers, this makes a fabulous eggplant and mozzarella panini!

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