Making Eggplant Parmesan is a hassle. It’s a multi-stage process that is labor intensive and time-consuming. There are no shortcuts. It’s not a throw-together dish. It is not something you want to see your kids hork down on the fly while their precious video games are paused. But it’s oh so good.
And worth every minute.
Preparing the eggplant is a fairly straightforward process. First, slice the eggplant uniformly into disks. Using a mandolin slicer for this is ideal. Salt the eggplant and allow to drain for up to an hour. Set up for breading with flour, egg, and breadcrumbs. You can underestimate the amount of flour and the eggs, but you should overestimate on the breadcrumbs. Season the breadcrumbs. Oregano, basil, garlic, salt and black pepper are all typical seasonings. You can used all dried seasonings here too; fresh is not required or recommended for breadcrumbs; save them for the sauce.
Fry the eggplant in oil deep enough for it to float, two to three minutes per side. For a full pan of Eggplant Parmesan, expect to fry two medium-sized eggplants.
Store the fried eggplant in layers between paper towels to absorb the extra oil.
Once you have finished frying the eggplant, you need to assemble the dish. Alternate layers of sauce, eggplant slices and cheese. You can add vegetables, such as fried onions or sliced tomatoes.
Cover the eggplant with a piece of baking paper sprayed with cooking spray, then with a piece of aluminum foil. Bake in a 190°C (375°F) oven until thoroughly heated, 25-30 minutes. Uncover and cook for ten minutes to allow the top layer of cheese to crisp and bubble.
That’s really all there is to it. Like I said, it’s labor intensive, but it’s a labor of love.