Eggplant Parmesan Recipe-Confident in the Kitchen-Jean Miller

Eggplant Parmesan

Welcome » Eggplant Parmesan

During our trip to France in the fall of 2017, I developed a fascination with eggplant. It started with Ratatouille and spread to Eggplant Parmesan. Many recipes instruct you to salt and drain the eggplant, but I find this step completely unnecessary. I buy my globe eggplants fresh, as evidenced by their beautiful, dark, glossy skin, and then make a point of using them within a day or two. I guess my approach works because our friend Cindy declared this is the best Eggplant Parmesan she had ever tasted. Now that is a vote of confidence!

Eggplant Parmesan Recipe

  • Servings: 8
  • Calories per: 454
  • Active Time: 30 min
  • Total Time: 1 hr 15 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Center two racks in the oven; preheat to 425°F Convection (verify with an oven thermometer). Meanwhile, set out 3 shallow bowls. In the first bowl, whisk flour and salt together with a fork. Internal oven thermostats are often improperly calibrated. Flour helps the other layers bind to eggplant.
  • 3 large eggs
In a second bowl, whisk eggs until loose and frothy. Egg binds the bread crumbs.
  • 6 ounces white bread, torn up
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) Parmesan, grated
Pulse together in a food processor until fine (~1 minute). 6 ounces of bread yields 3 cups bread crumbs. Add to the third shallow bowl. Store-bought crumbs are too dry and dense.
  • 1 (1 pound) globe eggplant, cut into 24 slices, each approximately 1/3 inch thick
  • Parchment paper
Working with one piece at a time, use tongs to plunge and turn eggplant in each of the three mixtures (flour, egg, and then bread crumbs). Arrange across 2 lined half sheet pans. Bake until crumb coating turns crispy amber (12-14 minutes). Set aside to cool. Reduce oven to 350°F. Using a fork minimizes the mess. Parchment lined pans promote a crispier coating as compared to buttered pans.
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons freshly minced garlic
  • 56 ounces canned tomato, unsalted, petite diced, undrained
  • 2 teaspoons oregano flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (preferably Calabrian)
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
In a 12-inch tri-ply everyday pan over medium heat, bring oil to a shimmer (~2 minutes). Add garlic, cooking until fragrant (~1 minute). Add all to the pan; bring to a simmer, where bubbles continually break the surface without spattering. Hold at a simmer, occasionally stirring with a bamboo spatula until reduced to 4 cups (~9 minutes). Regular olive oil is sufficient here; heat destroys and wastes the subtle flavors of expensive extra-virgin. A wide, low pan expedites sauce reduction. Calabrian peppers have a spicy, fruity flavor profile.
  • 1 pound low-moisture mozzarella
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated
With a thinly bladed knife (a filet knife works well) cut into 24 slices, each approximately ¼ inch thick. Low-moisture cheese will not make eggplant soggy.
  In a 4-quart capacity 9×13-inch baking dish, smear 1/2 cup sauce across the bottom. Create 8 towers of sauce, eggplant, Parmesan, and mozzarella:


8 eggplant slices
⅓ cup Parmesan
8 mozzarella slices
½ cup sauce
8 eggplant slices
⅓ cup Parmesan
8 mozzarella slices
½ cup sauce
8 eggplant slices
⅓ cup Parmesan
½ cup sauce
8 mozzarella slices

A baking dish is nonreactive with acidic foods, such as tomatoes, whereas aluminum creates gray discoloration and off flavors.
  • 16 fresh basil leaves, whole
  • 16-20 basil leaves, julienned
Spoon 1 cup sauce between eggplant towers, reserving remaining 1 cup. Bake uncovered until mozzarella is amber at the edges (28-32 minutes). Rest 10 minutes. To serve, spoon 2 tablespoons reserved sauce on each plate; place an eggplant tower on top, tuck in 2 basil leaves, and finish with julienned basil. The extra sauce prevents burning without making the dish soggy. Reserved sauce adds freshness and flavor.





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