I always think I hate eggplant.
I usually say it tastes like a sponge.
Now, there's a good reason for that, and it's because a lot of people prepare eggplant wrong and frankly, it can have a spongy texture.
Every time I'm hating on eggplant, my Mom points out that I DO like eggplant, because eggplant parmigiana used to be one of my favorite dishes as a kid.
So, what's a girl to do? Make Eggplant Parmigana! This also endeared me to my husband, as he loves it. I'm glad to say, I was totally wrong, and this is a wonderful dish to make. I've made it twice in the last couple weeks, it was quite popular and it tasted great reheated for lunches too.
The first time we made it (I had help in the kitchen) we used leftover spaghetti sauce, but canned marinara sauce, or even tomato sauce would work too. My hubby helper always does the slicing on my mandolin, as it always scares me to death to use. I'm attached to my finger tips, you know? He tried it 1/4 inch slices the first time, and 3/8 inch thick slices the second time. I'm leaning towards 3/8 inch for future preparations.
I need to tell you I swapped out the shredded mozzarella for regiano parmesan instead! Also not pictured is Cavenders Greek Seasoning, but any seasoning salt would work.
Makes 4 servings
1 eggplant, sliced cross ways in 3/8 inch slices
1 cup marina sauce
2-3 oz of fresh mozzarella
1/2 cup of shredded Parmigiano reggiano
Salt/Pepper or seasoning salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheets with sides, as there is some moisture in the baking process!
Slice the eggplant, and season with salt and pepper, or a seasoning salt. Using a bit of olive oil, fry each side until a bit of color appears. The eggplant does seem to soak up quite a bit of the oil, so be ready to add more as needed. Add the fried slices to the baking sheet. Fry more slices until your sheet is full, or you have enough portions for your meal.
Top each fried round of eggplant with a couple tablespoons of sauce, adding mozzarella and parmigiano cheeses. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes. If the cheese isn't bubbly and brown yet, cook for another 5-8 minutes.
*Don't be too worried if there is a lot of moisture on the pan in the beginning. That will evaporate and dry off.
It makes a bit of a mess on your pan, but it comes clean easily!
Dinner is served... not the prettiest dish, but absolutely delicious.