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Layered Eggplant Parmesan

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Eggplant has never been one of my favorite vegetables…I mean fruits…but we will keep it as a vegetable for now. Maybe it was mental, I mean who really wants to eat a fat purple thing? I remember when I was around 22 years old we went out to this Thai restaurant with friends and did a family style thing. Spicy Eggplant was ordered and looked terrible when it arrived at the table. “Oh, you just have to try the eggplant, it is the best” they said. Well, I tried, I liked, I ate more. But I never had eggplant again for years after that and the next experience was horrible (another time we can delve into that). So when I wanted to cook up some Chicken Parmigiana but the chicken was looking suspicious at the store, I went for the eggplant. When I did my vegan stint I always read recipes about eggplant as a meat substitute. I thought, why not?

Delicious Rating: Why did I wait so long?! Somebody should have/could have told me that this fat purple thing can be utterly delicious when cooked just right! I went double on the cheese because anything is great with cheese but the eggplant really stood alone as delicious. I served the eggplant parmesan on spaghetti noodles but you can easily serve it alone with salad and bread. Or include the pasta and keep the salad and bread too. Part of the success of the meal really depends on the sauce you use. I used my easy classic marinara sauce recipe but if you don’t have the time, you are more than welcome to use your favorite jarred red sauce. This easy recipe is definitely a keeper!

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5.0 from 3 reviews
Layered Eggplant Parmesan
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Yields: 4-6 Servings
 
Serve with Spaghetti noodles.
Ingredients
  • Marinara Sauce: 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Carrots, chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp Oregano
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tsp fresh chopped basil
  • 12 oz Tomato paste
  • 28 oz crushed Tomatoes
  • Eggplant: 2 eggplant, sliced and sweated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 4 cup bread crumbs, Italian seasoned
  • 2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup gratedd Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp dried basil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  3. Add in onion, carrot, garlic and cook for 6 minutes.
  4. Add in seasonings and cook for an additional minute.
  5. Stir in tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.
  6. Add in crushed tomatoes, cover, and turn heat low to simmer for 20 minutes.
  7. Dip eggplant slices in egg, then in bread crumbs.
  8. Place on a baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 5-7 minutes on each side.
  10. Remove bay leaves from sauce and blend until smooth.
  11. Place a layer of sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
  12. Place a layer of eggplant slices in the sauce.
  13. Top each layer with both cheeses and a dollop of sauce.
  14. Place an eggplant slice on top and repeat.
  15. Top last eggplant layer with more cheese and dried basil.
  16. Bake for 35 minutes, or until golden brown.

I make my own tomato sauce for this recipe but if you are short on time use your favorite jarred red sauce.

The eggplant tastes delicious out of the oven on their own…next recipe: breaded eggplant sticks?

And the stacking begins!

Brown melty cheese!

Delicious!

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