My children are coming home this weekend for a visit. I have not seen my son, Alex, for six months, I miss him terribly. My daughter, Lily, has not been home to Murphys since her birthday in March, it's time to come to Mama! They are coming home to attend the wedding of a good friend and also for Father's Day. We are planning a get together with their Dad on Sunday. I imagine the kids will cook something (they are quite good in the kitchen) but a favorite dish of their Dad's is eggplant parmesan. I am going to surprise him with this rendition. It is quite easy...no salting the eggplant or getting out the frying pan to make a mess. Just a simple peel, slice and dip of these purple beauties and into the oven to brown before the final assembly. I am even using 'really good' but bottled tomato sauce, I told you this was easy. By the time your eggplant from the garden start to come in, you will have this recipe down.
Easy Eggplant Parmesan Bake
Olive oil, for baking sheets
2 large eggs
3/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
Sea salt and ground pepper
2 large eggplants (2 1/2 pounds total), peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
6 cups (48 ounces) store-bought chunky tomato sauce or homemade
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 25 minutes, then turn slices and continue baking until browned on other side, 20 minutes more. Remove from oven; turn up the oven to 400 degrees. Spread 2 cups sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
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