Preheat oven for 350
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I love eggplant parmesan. It brings back such wonderful holiday memories for me. I began making it for my family as one of those traditions I wanted to hold onto!
Here is how I make it!
2 medium sized eggplants
Gluten-free bread crumbs (at least 12 ounces)
Parmesan cheese (grated- the type you get on the shelves is what I use in this recipe)
Mozzarella cheese (15+ ounces)
(I make my own sauce and is a quick glance at the ingredients I use so that you know the flavors we are trying to achieve in or EGGPLANT PARMESAN!)
I use a good extra virgin olive oil
8-10 garlic cloves minced
15-20 leaves of fresh basil
1-2 TBS dried parsley
½ TBS onion powder
1 TBS salt
1 teas black pepper
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
1 large can of diced tomatoes ( I don’t always use diced tomatoes…but sometimes I like the sauce to be chunky! If you don’t care for that replace this can with another of the crushed tomato.)
In a large pot, warm the olive oil, place the garlic in. As the garlic begins to sauté (watch to ensure it doesn’t burn) spoon the paste in. With your spoon, move the paste around in the oil and garlic. Like you are frying it. Then pour in the remaining cans. Season with all of the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. I like my sauce to simmer a minimum of an hour. I find the longer the better…so if you have 2 hours to spare…YUMMO!
NOW onto the EGGPLANT PARMESAN!
Cut the ends off of the eggplant
Peel the eggplant. (The easiest way is using a vegetable peeler)
Cut eggplant into ½” slices for a more even cook.
(If you happen to go thicker on a few…no worries, we will make sure those thicker pieces are on THE BOTTOM of pan so that we can ensure they cook in the sauce completely to get soft!)
I like to fry the eggplant in a small amount of oil – this means I have to wipe the frying pan out of excess bread crumbs but I find it is less oily and well worth the mess.
I use olive oil or avocado oil. Keep in mind the smoke point of olive oil is 410 so we want to make sure the pan isn’t too hot. To be safer…use avocado oil, it’s smoke point is 510!!
*In one mixing bowl add the bread crumbs mixture needs to be seasoned. I love each component to have great flavor!
I loosely season it with ingredients 2-8 listed above. I think this is a preference thing but I will tell you rough amounts. Keep in. mind that if you don’t want to use the parmesan cheese you can simply increase the salt content used at this stage.
½ TBS garlic powder
2 teas onion powder
1 teas salt
½ teas pepper
1 TBS parmesan cheese
1 TBS dried parsley
*In a second mixing bowl add 6 eggs, beaten.
In a large frying pan add 1 TBS oil, place a few slices in egg mixture, coat on both sides. Then place in the bread crumbs mixture. Tap excess crumbs off and place in hot oil. Cook for about 2 minutes or until golden brown and flip. DO the same for the second side. Place in a paper towel lined plate. Salt top of browned eggplant if you desire.
*In a roasting pan, or Pyrex dish (9x13 or 2-8x8):
1st layer- sauce
2nd layer- eggplant
3rd layer- mozzarella cheese
4th- sprinkle of parmesan cheese
REPEAT ABOVE layers
Bake in preheat oven for 25-30 minutes until you see the sauce on the bottom bubbling and the top golden!
ENJOY one of my favorite holiday meals!
Jen Fiore has been cooking and baking gluten-free for herself and her family since 2003 & is happy to share her recipes with you!