Easy Eggplant Parmigiana
I’ve always wondered why eggplants are so neglected. Every time I visit the local grocers there they are, just sitting there lonely. All stacked up in their majestic purple royalty begging to go home with someone anyone. I’m guessing that some might be perplexed by them and it’s just easier to grab the broccoli and cauliflower. I however, really dig them. One of absolute favorite things to make with eggplant is Eggplant Parmigiana. Up until recently I always made it in lasagna form. It was quite labor intensive so I didn’t make it as often as I would have liked. Now I’ve come across a super easy way to make Eggplant Parm. One of those palms on forehead moments the minute I saw it followed by the inevitable why didn’t I think of that.
I was flipping through the pages of Bon Appetit and saw a gorgeous eggplant parm that they made using whole eggplants that they then halved. GENIUS I tell you. It was definitely an ah-ha moment. Now I can make my Eggplant Parmigiana in no time at all and without all the fuss. AND I’m happy to report that it’s just as good. Maybe better because you get more bang for your eggplant buck per portion. Not to mention it makes a much better first impression. Who wouldn’t want to dive into that plate?
This dish starts by roasting the eggplant halves to a softened state of sublime alongside liquid gold and garlic. This alone would be completely satisfying to me but alas that would NOT be eggplant parmigiana so we continue on with the addition of scratch made tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and a little something something for crunch.
Are you ready for your plate?
TIP: Make a large batch of HOMEMADE TOMATO SAUCE in advance and store to use in several recipes during the week.
- 2 medium eggplants - halved
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 recipe homemade tomato sauce
- 1/2 ball fresh mozzarella - sliced into 4 equal portions
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 4 leaves fresh basil.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Season eggplant with salt/pepper. Place eggplant onto a rimmed baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
- Drizzle olive oil over eggplant and flip until well coated. Place cut side down. Add garlic cloves to pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes OR until soft.
- Carefully transfer eggplant to a baking dish. Tip baking sheet so olive oil and garlic drizzle into dish.
- Mix panko and Parmigiano together into a small bowl.
- To assemble: Top each eggplant with approximately 1/4 cup of prepared tomato sauce, a slice of mozzarella and 2 tablespoons of panko/parm mixture.
- Bake for additional 5-10 minutes OR until cheese is bubbly and panko mixture is golden.
- Garnish with fresh basil.