This recipe was contributed by Kirsten from Kirsten Oliphant.com.
I have an eggplant problem. That problem is that I might like eggplant a little bit too much. I have been known to eat an entire eggplant in one sitting. Thankfully, it’s not poisonous, despite being in the nightshade family. I discovered a fabulous and easy Eggplant Parmesan recently that has taken my eggplant obsession to a whole new level. And guess what? If you don’t love eggplant as much as I do, you can substitute zucchini because this is basically a takeoff on a zucchini chip recipe from Smitten Kitchen.
Easy Eggplant Parmesan
1 eggplant, sliced thinly
coarse sea salt
2/3 cup grated Parmesan (the cheap green container kind)
1/4 cup flour (for a more traditional, use bread crumbs)
2 eggs, beaten with 2 tsp water
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil to garnish
Heat your oven to 450 and lightly grease a baking sheet.
Slice the eggplant into thin slices. Because eggplant retains a lot of water, spread the slices out and pour a handful of coarse sea salt over them. (You can use regular, but it is harder to remove at the end.) Let them sit for 10-15 minutes and it will pull the water out–you will actually see the droplets forming. Wipe the salt and water off with a paper towel. (This is the point you’ll be glad if you used coarse salt–it’s hard to know if you got all the fine salt off, and then you might have overly salty eggplant.) You can skip this process, but it helps keep them from being soggy.
Dip each slice into the egg wash, letting excess drip off before dipping it into the Parm/flour mixture. You want a light coating that is fairly even, so you may want to pat a little on if it’s not sticking. You may need a little more of either the egg, the Parmesan mixture, or both. I eyeballed the flour to Parmesan mixture when this happened, just making sure there was more Parmesan than flour. Place each slice on the greased baking sheet. Depending on the size of your eggplant, you may need two sheets. I did!
Bake for 20-25 minutes. I meant to flip mine, but didn’t, and they came out perfectly golden brown on each side. Every oven is different, so you may want to try both ways and see what works in your kitchen. This was the crispest, most delicious eggplant Parmesan I’ve made at home. Plus–no frying!
Top with your favorite tomato or pasta sauce, fresh basil, and, if you’re cheese-crazy like me, a little fresh shredded Parmesan.
If you’re like me and realize that you don’t have any pasta sauce, you can take fresh tomatoes (I used Roma), let them roast in the oven while you’re prepping the eggplant. When the skins are bursting, remove from oven. Peel off the skins, chop or mash the tomatoes, then simmer them on low with a bit of garlic, a dash of sugar, and salt/pepper while the eggplants are roasting. This was like a chunky, fresh, marinara and I loved both the taste and simplicity!