I only started being very interested in cooking a few months ago and one of the first succesful meals I made was eggplant parmesan. It was without a doubt, the best tasting dish I had ever made in my entire life. The ingredients are simple, the recipe is easy (although a little time-consuming) and the flavors are delicious. Here’s what you’ll need:
Ingredients (for the sauce)
- 3 6oz can tomato paste
- 18oz water (fill up the 3 empty cans of tomato paste)
- Seasonings to taste – I used below:
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon grated parmesan
Ingredients (for the eggplant)
- 2 medium eggplants
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup white rice flour
- 5-6 eggs
- Oil for frying (I used high oleic sunflower oil)
- 1 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- 16oz grated mozzarella
- Paprika to taste
I always make the sauce first, because I can just stick it in the fridge until I’m ready to use it. It’s pretty straight forward, just mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Make sure you taste it! Everyone has different taste and you may like less salt or more pepper or more thyme etc.
Now for the eggplants, the first thing to do is to cut them in thin circles. I like them really thin so I can have more layers in the end. Once that’s done, put white rice flour in a plate and beat the eggs in a shallow dish. This is a three-part time-consuming step. First, generously season both sides of all the eggplants with salt and pepper, then cover both sides with white rice flour and finally, dip them in the beaten eggs. Put them aside until you’re ready to fry them.
Pour oil in a pan, about 1 inch deep. I’ve done this before with olive oil, but it’s a challenge and I suggest using better high heat oils, like high oleic sunflower oil or red palm oil. Heat your pan on medium-high heat. Turn your fan on. When the oil is hot enough (if you flick a little water in it and it pops, it’s ready), start frying your pieces of eggplant, a few at a time. It takes about 2 minutes on each side to get a nice golden color. Preheat your oven to 350F.
All that’s left to do is to put your dish together. Start with a nice layer of sauce at the bottom of a lasagna pan, then continue in this order: eggplant, sauce, cheese (both mozzarella and parmesan). Keep a good amount of cheese for the top layer. I like sprinkling a little bit of paprika on top for color. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes.
Like lasagna, it’s a meal that stands pretty well on its own and you’ll have leftovers for days. It also tastes great reheated, as long as very fresh eggplants were used (if they’ve been sitting in the fridge for a few days, it’ll taste kind of fishy…)
Sometimes, I like serving this dish with some potatoes, deep-fried or oven fried, or a nice fresh salad. What would you serve it with?