Eggplant Parmesan is another of our family favorites when we want to have a meatless night during the week. The trick to getting my children to eat eggplant is to slice it and cover it in kosher salt for an hour or so to remove all the bitter flavor, and to use panko breadcrumbs for the coating to make it extra nice an crispy. This recipe pairs well with jarred spaghetti sauce, or you can make your favorite sauce from scratch.
- 4 cups panko breadcrumbs
- Butter, for greasing the baking dish
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/2 tablespoon dried thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 large eggs, beaten
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 to 3 medium eggplants (about 2 1/4-pounds), peeled andcut into 1/2-inch-thick round slices (need about 18 slices)
- All-purpose flour, for dredging
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- 1 jar spaghetti sauce
- 4 cups grated mozzarella
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
Arrange eggplant slices on two cooling racks placed over cookie sheets. Sprinkle both sides of eggplant liberally with kosher salt, and allow to sit for about 1 hour. Thoroughly rinse eggplant and pat dry with paper towels.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 15 by 10 by 2-inch baking dish and set aside.
Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer the egg plant to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
Heat 1/2-inch of oil in 2 large straight-sided saute pans over medium heat. Fry eggplant slices in batches until golden brown. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.
Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish a small amount of spaghetti sauce and arrange 1/3 of the eggplant over the sauce. Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce and grated mozarella. Repeat to make 3 layers. Top with the Parmesan and remaining mozarella and bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.