Another traditional Italian dish that I grew up with is eggplant parmigiana.  This was another family favorite when I was a kid and still today!!  If there was lasagna or baked ziti on the table – you could always bet there was a tray of eggplant parmigiana next to it!!!  Lightly fried with layers of delicious marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese – yum!

When you order eggplant parmigiana at a restaurant, you often get it with the skin still on it and it is coated in bread crumbs and fried.  I always found the skin to be bitter and coating the eggplant in bread crumb made it heavy and took away from the texture of the eggplant itself.  Instead of the traditional 3-part dipping sequence:  flour; egg; bread crumbs – I just use flour and egg.  Using a potato peeler, I peel the skin off the eggplant and slice it into thin circles.  Then I season the flour with salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano and dried basil and coat each slice in the seasoned flour.  Once coated, it gets dipped in egg and then immediately fried in oil using an electric skillet.  It’s much easier to maintain the temperature of the oil using one. 

With layers upon layers of eggplant, tomato sauce, and mozzarella cheese – this is a delicious vegetarian dish to accompany any Italian meal!  And the leftovers are great in between two slices of Italian bread!  YUM!

Eggplant Parmigiana

Eggplant Parmigiana

2-3 firm eggplants, peeled and sliced thin
1 cup all purpose flour seasoned with Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, dried Basil, and dried Oregano
2-3 eggs, lightly beaten
Vegetable Oil
Electric Skillet
Paper Towels
Tomato Sauce
Dried Oregano
1 lb. Shredded Mozzarella

1)  Pour oil about an inch deep into the electric skillet.  Heat to 350 degrees.
2)  Coat slices of the eggplant in the seasoned flour. 
3)  Dip the coated eggplants in the eggs and then fry in the skillet.  Turn over as needed, cooking through and golden brown.
4)  Remove from oil and place on paper towels to absorb the excess oil. 
5)  In a casserole dish, coat the bottom with tomato sauce and begin layering the dish with eggplant slices; dried oregano; shredded mozzarella; more tomato sauce; eggplant, etc.
6)  Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 30 – 45 minutes.

*For a time saver, I prepare the eggplant in advance by frying it, allowing it to cool and then wrapping small batches of the fried eggplant in foil and freezing it until I’m ready to use it.  It takes about 2-3 days to defrost thoroughly and you’re good to go to make your eggplant parmigiana!*