1 ¼ pounds eggplant, peeled and cut into 15 half-inch slices (1 large or two small eggplants)
2 teaspoons kosher salt to salt the eggplant
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons whole milk
1 ½ cups seasoned Italian bread crumbs
Vegetable oil – enough to fill a 14 inch skillet with 1 inch of oil
1 ½ quarts tomato sauce (see our recipe here), or 2 24-ounce bottles of your favorite jarred sauce
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
¼ pound Fontina cheese, sliced
5 tablespoons freshly grated Romano cheese
½ pound fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 10 slices
1/2 pound of your favorite pasta for serving, we used spaghetti
- After peeling and slicing the eggplant into 15 half-inch thick slices, lay them flat on a rack over a sheet tray and sprinkle both sides with the two teaspoons of salt. (Don’t worry about over salting as it will get rinsed off later; this salting process draws out the bitterness of the eggplant.) Allow the slices to sit for 1 ½ to up to 2 hours at room temperature (You will see moisture bead up on the slices). After sitting for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, rinse the slices under cold water then pat dry with paper towels.
- Lay out two pie plates and a medium bowl. Place flour, salt and pepper in the first pie plate and stir. Place eggs and milk in the bowl and whisk well. Place the seasoned bread crumbs in the second pie plate. Have a tray to collect the breaded slices.
- After rinsing and drying, dip each slice of eggplant in flour and shake and tap off excess. Then dip in egg wash and finally in bread crumbs – coating both sides and edges with all steps. Place on collection plate. Repeat until all eggplant is breaded. Tip: Use one hand for wet and one hand for dry so that your hands don’t get caked with breading.
- In a 14” skillet, heat the oil to 350 degrees. (Using a candy thermometer is helpful to ensure you get to the correct temperature.)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Once the oil is hot, fry the eggplant in batches. Fry for 1 ½ minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. Lightly salt each slice as they come out of the hot oil.
- Pour one cup of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch pan or baking dish. Place the five largest slices spread out onto the bottom of the pan over the sauce.
- Sprinkle each slice with a teaspoon of Parmesan and two tablespoons of sauce.
- Divide the sliced Fontina over the tops of each coated slice. Then layer another five eggplant slices on top of the Fontina. Cover each pile with another teaspoon of Parmesan, a two tablespoons of tomato sauce and then cover the tops with the Romano cheese.
- Add the final slice of eggplant on each of the five portions and top with the Parmesan and ¼ cup of tomato sauce.
- Divide the fresh mozzarella slices between the five portions and lay over the top.
- Insert a skewer or a tooth pick (without frills) into the center of each so they don’t slide apart while baking.
- Cover the pan or dish with a sheet of parchment paper that has been sprayed with kitchen pan spray (to stop the cheese from sticking) and a sheet of foil, shiny side facing the food. Seal tight around the edges and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for 5 minutes more. (The shiny side of foil reflects the heat so always put shiny side facing the food.)
- Place under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the tops.
- Cook your pasta according to package directions while eggplant is baking.
- Once the dish is done, let them sit for five minutes to set up. Remove the tooth picks and serve with pasta and the remaining tomato sauce and top with additional Parmesan cheese.
Keywords: Eggplant parmesan, Baked Eggplant Parmesan