There’s a very simple reason why I haven’t blogged about Eggplant Parmesan. I am too lazy to make it! Luckily for me, my Mom isn’t too lazy, and she let me try to document the process. We started with at least 3 large eggplants.
First, you peel each eggplant and cut it into thin slices. Then, you sprinkle the slices with salt and layer them in a strainer.
Many years ago, people would place the slices in a wooden basket and weigh them down with bricks. Our updated method involves a plastic strainer and a ceramic plate, weighted down with a large can of tomatoes. You can place this directly in the sink, or over a large bowl. The eggplant slices should drain for at least two hours.
Now you need to rinse the salt off the eggplant slices, and dry them well with paper towels. Don’t be afraid to squeeze the slices between the paper towels.
Prepare a mixture of 3 eggs, 1/4 c. water, and 1/4 t black pepper, and whisk with a fork. You may need multiple batches, but you can make more as you go along. Heat about 1/4″ of oil in a frying pan, until a small drop of egg mixture sizzles when added to the pan.
Dip each eggplant slice in the egg mixture, allow the excess to drip off, and place in the frying pan. Cook until browned, turn, and cook on the other side.
Now you can drain the cooked eggplant on more paper towels, to absorb some of the excess oil.
Finally, we’re ready to assemble a dish of eggplant. You can use jarred sauce, or make your own meat sauce or tomato sauce. It’s more important that you use real grated Parmesan cheese. Add a few spoonfuls of sauce to the bottom of the dish, and then layer the eggplant, followed by more sauce, and Parmesan cheese.
Keep going until you’ve reached the limit of your pan. We made one large dish for dinner that evening, and two smaller dishes. Cover each pan tightly with foil, and heat in a 200F oven for 20-30 minutes just prior to serving.
There are many variations of Eggplant Parmesan, and everyone probably thinks that their way is best. This version contains no skin, and yields thin slices with no breading. I am biased of course, but I do think this is the best!