Eggplant Heaven

By: Guy Edkins

So you think you have had good eggplant, not till you have had the ones the Georgia and Katelyn grow! 

What to do with eggplant? If eggplant was an actor, many chefs would likely relegate it to supporting roles. In this traditional eggplant recipe I think it takes best actor! 

The ingredients:

2 eggplants 

2 eggs

1/2 to 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs (lightly toasted)

1 cup chopped basil – I used Waking Web’s and a little of my own.

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp Garlic powder

1 tsp Fine sea salt

1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

4 cups pomodoro sauce (I like to use San Marzano tomatoes in my sauce)

2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese (i like whole milk cheese here)

2/3 cup finely-grated or shaved Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Sweat the eggplant.  Slicing eggplant about 3/8” thk., salting lightly, and letting the eggplant “sweat” out. Just leave the salted eggplant slices to rest on paper towels for 30-60 minutes, then rinse off the salt with cold water and pat dry.

Toast the Panko. Spreading it out on a baking sheet and briefly toasting in the oven @400 until golden, about 4 minutes. Keep an eye on it!

Mix the seasoning with panko

Whisk the two eggs in a bowl.

Dip and bread the eggplant slices.

Place the eggplant on baking sheets with parchment paper under them.

Bake the eggplant at 425 for about 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to wire rack.

Layer the casserole. Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce evenly across the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. 

Place half of the eggplant in an even layer on the bottom of the dish.

Top evenly with 1 cup sauce, 1 cup Mozzarella, all of the Parmesan, and half of the basil.

Layer remaining eggplant, remaining marinara sauce, and the remaining Mozzarella.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and starts to turn slightly golden.

Sprinkle with the remaining basil and extra Parmesan.

And the Oscar goes to….

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