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Eggplant Experiment #1 - Eggplant Parmesan

I've had eggplant only a few times in my life.  I think the last time I had eggplant, it was at one of my favorite vegetarian restaurants in downtown Orlando.  Unfortunately, the dish was not well prepared and I got a fried eggplant sandwich that was way too greasy and soaked with oil.  Yuck.  It must have been an off day for the chef.  I never ordered it again.

Having only recently researched this glorious ingredient, I've learned how important it is to not use too much oil with eggplant as it acts like a sponge and will absorb almost all of it.  So, use oil sparingly when dealing with eggplant!  Though I really wanted the sandwich I described yesterday, I ended up deciding I'd first go with something I thought I could connive my kids into eating.  I figured I couldn't go wrong with Cooking Light's version of Eggplant Parmesan.  You can find the full recipe here.

I was very pleased with the result!  The fresh garden basil really made this dish shine.  I didn't have sliced mozzarella (just the usual bagged and shredded stuff) but it still turned out fantastic.  I told the kids the dish was a kind of lasagna and they totally ate it up (though my daughter was somewhat skeptical of the green bits, i.e. basil).  I think this recipe just may be a seasonal staple in our house.
 
I first dredged the sliced eggplant in an egg mixture, coated it with seasoned panko crumbs,
and then baked it until golden brown.

Then, I layered the eggplant in a pan with sauce, a ricotta mixture including fresh garlic and basil, and mozzarella cheese.

I then repeated the layers and baked as directed per the recipe.  VOILA, the end result!

Comments

sheila said…
I had eggplant once and had to pretend I liked it, lol. It wasn't bad...it's just that I didn't have a good recipe.

THIS...THIS I can make!
Aliceson said…
The kids liked it! I know of parents who won't ever make or even buy eggplant (and other vegetables) because they think their kids won't eat it. You and I know better...

I love the first photo! you must have plenty of light in your kitchen.

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