Eggplant Parmesan

It’s Meatless Monday folks!

This is my first time cooking with eggplant. It was surprisingly easy and super delicious, who knew right? In fact, this was my first time even eating eggplant, and lightly battered and covered in sauce and cheese is the right way to eat just about anything for the first time. Every time I see an eggplant recipe, I’m always reminded of the “Friends” episode where Monica accidentally accepts a kickback of steaks and an eggplant and then gets fired. It gave me a strange aversion to my new purple friend. This recipe is fairly easy, and if you’re cooking for yourself or only a few people, it freezes quite well. After this, I’m totally on the eggplant band wagon (wait, it that a thing?).

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Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a medium bowl combine chia seeds and 1/2 cup water. Let stand until thickened and gelatinous. Cut mozzarella into 1/4 inch thick slices and mince the garlic. Pick basil leaves off the stems and discard stems. Peel and dice the onion  Cut off and discard the stem and bottom of the eggplant. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds. They should look like this:

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In a medium pot, heat 2 tsps. olive oil on medium high. Add in the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.

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Stir in the tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low. Cook 12-15 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove the tomatoes from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.

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While the sauce is cooking, place flour and breadcrumbs into 2 separate bowls. Working one slice at a time, completely coat eggplant in flour, then a thin layer of the chia mixture and finally the breadcrumbs.

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In a large pan heat a thin layer of olive oil on medium high until hot (add a few breadcrumbs to the pan and if they sizzle immediately it’s hot enough). Add the coated eggplant (to avoid overcrowding you may need to work in batches) and cook 3-5 minutes per side until golden brown. Once cooked, transfer the eggplant to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.

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In an oven safe baking dish, spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce. Evenly place the eggplant rounds in the dish.

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Cover the eggplant with the remaining sauce, the basil (reserve a bit for garnish), and the mozzarella. Sprinkle the parmesan all over the dish.

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Bake the dish for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Roughly chop the remaining basil leaves, garnish and serve!

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Eggplant Parmesan

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Time: 40-50 minutes
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. in a medium bowl combine chia seeds and 1/2 cup water. Let stand until thickened and gelatinous.
  3. cut mozzarella into 1/4 inch thick slices
  4. mince the garlic
  5. pick basil leaves off the stems and discard stems
  6. cut off and discard the stem and bottom of the eggplant. Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds.
  7. peel and dice the onion
  8. In a medium pot, heat 2 tsps. olive oil on medium high. Add in the onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  9. Stir in the tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a boil then reduce the heat to medium low. Cook 12-15 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  10. Remove the tomatoes from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  11. While the sauce is cooking, place flour and breadcrumbs into 2 separate bowls.
  12. working one slice at a time, completely coat eggplant in flour, then a thin layer of the chia mixture and finally the breadcrumbs.
  13. In a large pan heat a thin layer of olive oil on medium high until hot (add a few breadcrumbs to the pan and if they sizzle immediately it’s hot enough).
  14. add the coated eggplant (to avoid overcrowding you may need to work in batches) and cook 3-5 minutes per side until golden brown.
  15. Once cooked, transfer the eggplant to a paper towel-lined plate and season with salt.
  16. In an oven safe baking dish, spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce. Evenly place the eggplant rounds in the dish and cover with the remaining sauce, the basil (reserve a bit for garnish), and the mozzarella. Sprinkle the parmesan all over the dish.
  17. Bake the dish for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and bubbly.
  18. Roughly chop the remaining basil leaves, garnish and serve!

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