There is something about the weather getting warmer that makes me want to cook vegetarian meals. I could eat these eggplant Parmesan rounds once a week. It doesn’t even bother me that I have to turn my oven on. It’s much better than frying on the stove and also so much healthier.
Make sure to use Panko breadcrumbs in this recipe. They make the eggplant crisp and light. You will not miss the frying at all. I bake the eggplant rounds on parchment paper and this insures that there is not a soggy vegetable to be found.
The minute Jersey tomatoes hit the farm markets or ripen in my garden; I am making batches upon batches of my roasted tomato sauce. That does not happen until July but in the meantime I use my Easy 25 Minute Marinara Sauce. Both of these sauces are perfect to top this eggplant. If you want to make it a little heartier, ground beef can be added to the sauce. I prefer the meatless version but my carnivore husband would always choose a meat sauce.
Once you try this eggplant, you will want to have leftovers to make sandwiches the next day. I love the eggplant on crispy Italian bread smothered in extra marinara sauce.
Make sure to visit your local farmers market this summer and pick up some eggplant. While you are there, get some tomatoes and basil too. Take advantage of fresh summer produce for this dinner. It will not disappoint!
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 Tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese
- 3 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- Peel the skin of the eggplant if desired (I keep the skin on). Slice the eggplant into ¼ to ½ inch slices. Place them on a large plate and sprinkle them with salt. Allow them to sit for at least 30 minutes for the bitter juices to drain. Rinse and pat the slices dry with a paper towel.
- Preheat the oven to 425º F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine the breadcrumbs with ½ cup of parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Place the flour in a dish, the eggs in a shallow bowl, and the breadcrumb mixture in another dish.
- Dredge each eggplant slice in flour and then in the eggs, letting the excess drip. Coat with breadcrumb mixture and place them on baking sheet. Brush both sides with a light layer of canola oil.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown, flipping the slices half- way through baking. Remove eggplant from oven and top with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Reserve some sauce to serve on the side.
- Bake for 1o minutes until cheese is browned and bubbling. Sprinkle with chopped basil before serving.