Eggplant Parmigiana


2 eggplants, 1 1/2  to 1 1/4 pounds each
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 cup flour
3 eggs
2 tablespoons water
2 1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup to 1/4 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups bechamel sauce (see below)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Trim ends and peel skins from eggplant. Slice eggplant into 1/4-inch rounds. Sprinkle with coarse salt and layer in colander. Place a plate with a weight on top and let drain 35-40 minutes. Pat slices with paper towels.

2. Spread flour on a plate. In a wide shallow bowl, beat eggs and water until well blended. On another plate, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Dredge eggplant slices in flour, then in the beaten eggs and then the bread crumbs.

3. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add eggplant slices to pan being careful to not to crowd the pan and cook 3-4 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Remove eggplant and drain on paper towels while cooking remaining pieces, adding more olive oil as needed.

4. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce over the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish. Place a single layer of eggplant on sauce. Spread 1/2 cup bechamel sauce over eggplant; top with 1 cup marinara sauce, 1/4 cup of the mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Make 3 more layers, ending with the Parmesan cheese.

5. Preheat oven to 350C. Bake eggplant parmigiana 30 minutes or until bubbly and brown on top. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Bechamel Sauce

1 cup milk
1 cup chicken stock
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon thyme

1. In a saucepan, combine milk and chicken stock. Bring just to a simmer over medium heat. Keep warm.
2. In a heavy medium saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring 2-3 minutes without allowing the flour to brown.
3. Remove pan from heat and whisk in hot milk and stock. Return to low heat and cook, whisking occasionally, 4-5 minutes, until sauce is medium thick. Season with salt and pepper, nutmeg and thyme.


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