July 28, 2014

"deconstructed" eggplant parmesan

This is amazing.  Amazing.  The eggplant is wonderful this way and pairs perfectly with the creamy mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.  This is also a really simple dish to prepare since you are only cooking one thing and has a beautiful presentation, making it a great dish for guest!!

Servings 4-6
Total Time 40 minutes

  • 3 large rip tomatoes, cut into small chunks (or use 3 cups cherry tomatoes)
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella bocconcini or pearls (the small balls), cut in half depending on size
  • 2  tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt  (or kosher)
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium or 2 small eggplant (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs (this is important... using panko vs homemade or regular ones guarantees they will be crunchy)
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 6-8 basil leaves, finely cut


 In a large bowl toss the tomatoes, onion, garlic, mozzarella, and olive oil.  

Season with salt and pepper and set aside while you cook the eggplant.

Heat the oven to 400 degrees F. 

Mix the breadcrumbs, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper on a plate.

 Put the eggs in a shallow bowl.  Dip each eggplant slice into the egg and then into the crumb mixture, patting to secure the coating.  Arrange the slices on a greased baking sheet in a single layer, you may need to use more than one sheet.  

Bake the eggplant until it's very tender on the inside and nicely browned and crisp on the outside, 25-30 minutes.  To brown the tops additionally put them under the broiler for a couple of minutes. 

Arrange a few slices on a plate and nestle some tomato salad next to them.  Sprinkle with basil and enjoy!!!

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