Easy Eggplant Parmesan

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My mom is a genius. I’m just going to put that out there.

Ever since I was a little kid, my mom would require my brother and I to plan and prepare our own dinner for the family several times over the course of the summer. Some summers the expectation for us to cook dinner fell weekly, however if the schedule was more irregular than that, it was always safe to assume my brother and I would be responsible for a meal over family vacation.

My mom would help us brainstorm whatever food we might want to prepare, would bless our desires to cook crazy and exotic meals, such as scallops or eggrolls, and always rolled up her sleeves to help us every step of the way.

I am sure that is where I learned some of my love for cooking, alongside my sweet and patient mother. I imagine those summer nights cooking also are responsible for helping me learn the rhythm of how to prepare a large meal, and where I got over a fear of trying new things in the kitchen.

This summer, my family vacationed for a week in the Smokey Mountains of Tennessee. It was beautiful. As was our tradition, each member of the family took a night to cook. For my night, I decided to whip up this scrumptious Eggplant Parmesan- yet another recipe I learned from my talented mother.

For some, eggplants may be on their way out of the farmer’s market, but if you can still get em’ fresh, I would highly suggest it. Nothing tastes as satisfying as a delicious bite of homemade Eggplant Parmesan at the end of summer.

Dig in, get cooking, give your mom a hug, and come back soon!

XO

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Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • Salt
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup skim milk
  • 2+ Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 large can marinara sauce
  • 1 package shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • Optional: Sprinkle with dried basil & oregano

Directions:

  1. Rinse and cut the eggplant into large coins. Arrange on a flat surface and sprinkle each piece lightly with salt. Allow the eggplant to ‘sweat’ for 10 minutes, removing some of the bitter flavor (You should see water droplets form on top of each piece). Rinse the eggplant slices under cool water and pat dry.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and the milk. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg/milk, and coat with an even layer of bread crumbs.
  3. Using two large frying pans, heat 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil in each pan over medium heat. Arrange the breaded eggplant slices in the frying pans, and reduce the heat to medium low. Cook the eggplant slowly, around 30 minutes, flipping occasionally. If breadcrumbs look to dry when flipping, add a little extra olive oil to the pan!
  4. Once the eggplant is soft and golden brown, divide the can of marinara over the two frying pans. Sprinkle generously with cheese, cover, and cook on low an additional 4 minutes- or until the marinara sauce is warm and the cheese melted.
  5. Serve immediately and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • For a lighter version, you could try dredging the eggplant slices, and baking the eggplant in a greased dish until soft and cooked through. This would remove some of the additional olive oil!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (Recipe links found below!)

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