Well I titled this post accordingly because I followed a recipe from Epicurious titled Inside Out Eggplant Parmesan. And yet I did not follow the recipe exactly – yes I am a rule breaker in the kitchen! You know I don’t like to measure ingredients exactly either, and so this recipe will be my memory of how I tweaked the recipe and the amount of each ingredient to fit my needs. I cooked it tonight for the first time and I am excited to try it again in the future to perfect it even more! It was also my first time cooking with eggplant, which I think went as well as it could have. Special thanks to my Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop for the delicious eggplant, picked fresh from their garden last week when I was in town! 🍆 And yes that is an eggplant emoji. 😄
Mallory’s advice before you make the recipe… Keep these things in mind:
*Do not use the lowest oven rack setting in your oven. You will overcook and burn the eggplant!
*Do not cook eggplant at temps higher than 450 degrees F.
*When slicing the eggplant, thicker is better. Thinner slices will cook down and stick to the tray, and will also cook faster and burn more easily.
Do not ask how I know these things… (I may have learned the hard way!)
The original recipe is available here from Epicurious, but here is my version, in which I omitted the homemade tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, basil, and parsley and substituted other things because it’s what I already had in the pantry!
olive oil (I did not measure it, but just keep the bottle handy!)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 jar of spaghetti sauce (I used a small jar of Classico: Sweet Basil Traditional)
1/2 cup water
1 medium-to-large size eggplant
3/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (the Kraft brand was in my fridge)
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley (or 5 tablespoons of the dried stuff!)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup water
1/8 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
salt, for sprinkling on the eggplant slices
1/4 to 1/2 bag of shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Kraft)
Preheat oven to 450°F
with rack in lowest position. *Do not believe this lie from the original recipe. Put your rack in the center.*
Cut approximately 12 rounds from eggplant. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt. Bake on an oiled baking sheet, turning once, until golden and tender, 10 to 20 minutes total (I would try 7 min on each side and if that’s not enough then put them back into the oven). Transfer to a plate and keep warm, covered.
While eggplant slices are cooking, heat the spaghetti sauce on the stove in a sauce pan on low. Now you can prepare and cook the egg patties.
Stir together bread crumbs, parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper, then stir in eggs and water. *It may look a little runny but that’s okay.*
Heat olive oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers. Drop rounded 1/3 cups of egg mixture (again, I did not bother to measure but this is how the recipe read) into skillet and cook, turning once, until patties are golden brown and puffed, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain. This will make 4 to 8 patties, depending on their size.
Arrange one egg patty on dinner plate. Top with a few spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce, 1 or 2 eggplant slices, and shredded mozzarella cheese. Depending on how many slices the eggplant produced, and the size of the egg patties, this recipe can feed 2-4 people. Enjoy!