Monday, June 25, 2012

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

My hubby and I enjoy going to our local farmer's market when we can and we made the Saturday morning visit this past weekend. While we were there, we picked up some peaches (which I will be turning into jam within the next couple of days,) and some excellent eggplant. I just got in the mood for some eggplant parmesan. Can't explain why, just decided that it was the best tasting meal I could imagine that day.

So... I made it Sunday afternoon and my family gobbled it up, as usual. I only make it about 2 times a year and everytime I do, I swear I will make it sooner. Never happens. Darn it! It is a little time consuming, but really the easiest vegetarian meal that my family will joyfully consume. (They are huge carnivores, after all.) And it makes the best leftover lunch. I promise! Anyway, I thought I would share my recipe with you so you can give it a shot. Enjoy!

Easiest Eggplant Parmesan

2 med  firm eggplant -
slice in rounds, sprinkle with salt, allow to sit for 20-30 min on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet, flip the pieces and salt the other side, allow to sit for an additional 20-30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly, allow to drain over paper towels for about an hour, rinse again and pat dry.

Flour (enough for dredging, about 3/4 cup) seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder and pepper, to taste
Italian style breadcrumbs (enough to coat, about 1- 1 1/2 cups)
3 eggs, beaten
"enough" oil, to fry the pieces

Dredge the dry rounds in flour, one at a time, then dip in beaten eggs, then in breadcrumbs. Fry in preheated oil until golden brown on one side, flip and fry other side until golden brown. Set aside.

1 1b. ricotta cheese
1 cup grated parmesan
1 egg
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder

mix above ingredients together, in separate bowl, until blended well.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Gather the largest baking dish you have (I used my 15" x 10" glass casserole) and begin to assemble.

1 1/2- 2 jars, good spaghetti sauce (if you make your own, great! I don't though. ;-) I used Prego, roasted garlic and Parmesan flavor)

1 lb. mozzarella cheese, grated
1/4 cup grated parmesan

Pour about 1 cup of sauce over the bottom of the dish, spread to cover the surface. Lay out the eggplant in a single layer, (squish them all in there to fit the whole bottom,) cover evenly with the ricotta cheese mixture, then pour the remaining spaghetti sauce over the top to cover all the ricotta, then sprinkle evenly with the mozzarella and grated parmesan. Bake for 35-40 minutes in preheated oven. Remove and allow to set for about 10 minutes, then serve!

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