from ASimplePalate.com

Ingredients

EGGPLANT

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (see notes)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (for fried eggplant method)

HOMEMADE BREADCRUMBS

  • 6 bread slices (about 1 1/2 cups – see notes)
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 2 teaspoons Italian herb blend
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon (each) salt & black pepper

TOPPINGS

  • 1 1/2 cups marinara
  • 1 lb mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese shredded
  • 1-2 Tablespoons fresh basil chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano chopped

Instructions

  1. Slice eggplant: remove stem from eggplant then slice into 1/4-1/2 inch thick slices.
  2. Sweat eggplant: arrange slices on pan and sprinkle with coarse salt on both sides. Let sit and “sweat” excess moisture for 10 minutes. Pat firmly with paper towels to dry eggplant thoroughly (wipe off salt as well).
  3. Breadcrumbs: toast slices of bread. Then chop in food processor until consistency is crumbs. Mix breadcrumbs in a bowl with garlic powder, salt & pepper, Italian herbs, and shredded parmesan cheese. Tip: If you are not making your own breadcrumbs, use 1 1/2 cups of store-bought breadcrumbs instead.
  4. Bread eggplant: arrange three bowls containing whisked eggs, flour, and breadcrumb mixture. First, coat eggplant in flour on both sides, then dip into eggs, and then dip into breadcrumbs – pack onto eggplant and then gently shake off excess crumbs. Wipe hands with paper towel then repeat. Tip: if baking eggplant instead of frying, brush a sheet pan with 1-2 Tablespoons of oil and arrange breaded eggplant onto pan as you coat them.
  5. Pan frying method: in a skillet pan, add 1-2 Tablespoons of oil at a time, and cook breaded eggplant for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Lay on paper towels to soak up excess oil. Repeat until all eggplant has been fried.Baking method: instead of pan frying you can also bake the eggplant to use less oil. Preheat oven to 350F and arrange breaded slices onto sheet pan that is brushed with 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes until golden.
  6. Assemble: in a large casserole dish, spread a thin layer of marinara on the bottom. Then layer: eggplant slices, mozzarella, a spoonful of marinara, and shredded parmesan. Repeat an additional layer on top.
  7. Bake: Then bake at 400F uncovered for 30 minutes until cheese is browned and melted. Top with chopped fresh basil & oregano, and serve!

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