I wanted to share my love of Eggplant with my little one, and thus far have not been too successful. That is until tonight. She loved this dish! It may have been my spin on a traditional classic, but regardless it was a win. I shouldn't even call it Parmesan since it doesn't contain any, but Eggplant Ricotta doesn't sound as nice.
There are a few steps that need to occur, so honestly, this isn't one of my weekday go-to's, but the leftovers continue to get even more delicious.
It is important as you start this process that you do you best to uniformly slice the eggplant so that the thickness is the same. You will also need to salt and rinse the eggplant before you start the frying process. This removes any bitterness from the eggplant, and allows you to enjoy the tender texture once cooked.
- 1 Medium Eggplant
- 1 C Panko Breadcrumbs (GF if needed)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground oregano
- 2 Eggs
- Flour for dredging (I used Cup4Cup GF)
- 8 oz Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 24 oz Favorite Mariana Sauce
- 8 oz Ricotta
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp dried parsley
Pre-heat over to 350 degrees. To begin, place sliced eggplant on a platter and sprinkle with Kosher salt, and allow to sit for roughly 30-45 minutes. The salt will extract all the bitterness from the eggplant. You will then rinse and pat dry. Now you are able to start the frying process. Place enough olive oil in a skillet that will allow you to get a good crisp on the eggplant. You will want to take each slice, dredge in the flour, then the egg mixture, and finally coat in the breadcrumbs. Fry to a nice golden brown and then turn over and fry to the same golden brown on the other side. Continue on until all the eggplant slices have gone through this process. Place on a paper towel to drain any excess oil.
Take a 9 inch square glass baking dish and place roughly 1/4 cup of the marinara sauce to coat the bottom. Place the first layer of the eggplant (roughly 4 circles on the bottom) Sprinkle half of the mozzarella on the eggplant. Then pour 1/2 of the remaining sauce over them. Place another layer of eggplant in alignment and on top of the ones on the bottom. Then evenly spread the ricotta mixture on the eggplant. Top with the last remaining eggplant, so you should now have four towers of eggplant, three slices deep. Finally top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle remaining mozzarella. Cover with foil (I like to spray the foil so that the cheese doesn't stick) and place in the over for 50 minutes. After which, remove the foil and continue to cook for 10 more minutes. I also like to then broil for a few more just to help brown the cheese on the top.
Serve with a fresh green salad.