It was beautifully crisp, flavourful and simple.
The main thing I appreciated about the dish was that the eggplant slices were not swimming in tomato sauce and cheese. They were simply topped with enough to have the flavours dance together, and they did, quite beautifully in fact.
I knew from the first bite that I would recreate that dish in my own kitchen and I have many times since then.
This recipe is very simple so don’t get intimidated when you read the recipe and see all the steps! If you would like to use pre-made pasta sauce that would make the process simpler for you but I think there is something to be said about making your own!
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (for drawing out the bitter juices from the eggplant)
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (more if needed)
- 2 eggs, beaten with a fork
- 1 1/2 cups bran flakes
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon of Epicure’s Herb & Garlic dip mix
- 1/2 teaspoon of Epicure’s Herb & Garlic sea salt(or any salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (28 FL ounce) can diced tomatoes pureed
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 garlic clove minced (I used 1/4 teaspoon of Epicure’s Roasted Garlic)
- 1 teaspoon each Epicure’s Herb & Garlic dip mix, 3 Onion dip mix and Red Pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- EGGPLANT DIRECTIONS:
- In a medium sized mixing bowl toss the eggplant with salt.
- Place eggplant slices in a colander and let sit in your sink for about 45 minutes(this will allow the bitterness from the eggplant to sweat out).
- BREADING INGREDIENT DIRECTIONS:
- Place whole wheat flour in a shallow bowl.
- In your food processor pulse bran flakes, fresh parmesan, olive oil, spices, salt and pepper until fine crumbs are formed. Transfer to a shallow bowl (I used a pie plate!)
- When ready to start breading your eggplant, in a shallow bowl, whisk eggs until frothy.
- Line up your 3 dishes containing flour, eggs and bran flake crumbs beside each other.
- SAUCE DIRECTIONS:
- In a medium sized sauce pan saute minced garlic in 1 teaspoon of the olive oil until fragrant.
- Add pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, salt, pepper and bay leaves and simmer on low heat until ready to plate up.
- PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Cover a cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray or oil. Set aside.
- Once eggplant slices have been sitting for 45 minutes transfer them to a triple layer of paper towels, cover with paper towels and press down to absorb any remaining moisture.
- Place eggplant slice in the bowl with whole wheat flour and cover both sides, shaking off the excess.
- Dip that same eggplant slice into the whipped egg on both sides.
- Place that same eggplant slice in the shallow bowl with the bran flake mixture and cover both sides.
- Place breaded egg plant slice on cooking sheet and repeat until all eggplant slices are breaded.
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove eggplant parmesan from the oven, top with 2-3 tablespoons of homemade tomato sauce and a light sprinkling of mozzarella cheese and return to the oven until cheese is melted.
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