Madame and I have always loved Eggplant Parmesan. Our first experience making it was with the recipe from The New Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen, which is a great vegetarian resource! The way I remember it is that she was pregnant with our first and approaching her due date. We had been told about how eggplant made people go into labor…. Well, our son decided to be 8 days late which gave us several opportunities to try this dish out!
Having not made this dish in quite some time we were excited to eat Eggplant Parmesan again, so we jumped the gun on summer and bought some Ontario greenhouse eggplants and tomatoes. We had some red and yellow peppers a friend had given us so it seemed right to make a sauce from scratch and use it for the Eggplant Parm-Awesome! (Haha, sorry, that seemed like a good name but when I wrote it down it looked absurd. Oh well, I’m sticking with it from here on out!).
We also made Abundance on a Dime’s Cucumber Salad with an Ontario greenhouse cucumber, some more of the red and yellow peppers, and chickpeas. It was a nice fresh-tasting side to the Parm-Awesome!
Based on Mollie Katzen’s Eggplant Parmesan recipe from The New Moosewood Cookbook
- 2 medium sized eggplants
- 1 cup wheat germ and/or bread crumbs (mixture or just one)
- 1-2 eggs, whisked
- ½ – 1 cup flour
- 1 cup mozzarella, grated
- ½ cup parmesan, grated
- 1 jar of pasta sauce or the following ingredients:
- 1 onion, diced
- 1-2 Tbs. oil
- ½ cup peppers, chopped
- 1 can crushed tomatoes or 4-6 medium sized tomatoes
- 3 Tbs. tomato paste (optional)
- 1-2 garlic cloves
- 1-2 Tbs. Italian seasoning
- 1 Tbs. honey
- Salt and pepper
If making the sauce begin here, if using a jar of sauce proceed to the next paragraph. Heat the oil in large pot. Add the onions and fry until translucent. Add peppers and garlic and fry for 3-5 more minutes. Add the tomatoes,( tomato paste), Italian seasoning, honey, and salt and pepper, bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally for 30-60 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
Preheat the oven to 350. Slice the eggplants into ½ inch thick disks. Lightly coat one or two baking sheets with oil. Fill a bowl with flour, coat the slices of eggplant with the flour and set aside*. In a second bowl whisk the eggs. You can stretch your eggs with a bit of milk. In a third bowl put the wheat germ and/or bread crumbs. Dip each floured eggplant slice in the eggs, then in the wheat germ to coat it. Place on an oiled baking sheet. When finished coating the eggplant slices bake them for 20-30 minutes, until they are turning golden brown on top. Sample one, it should be crispy on the outside and creamy soft on the inside (at this point try not to sample more…).
Cover the bottom of an 8 x 12-inch glass baking dish (or similar sized baking pan) with your sauce. Add a layer of the crispy eggplant slices and top with grated mozzarella. Repeat 2 more times with more sauce, eggplant, and mozzarella (or until you run out of ingredients). Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes, until it is bubbling and the top is golden! Allow the dish to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with a salad and red wine.
* Note: Katzen omits the egg and flouring, simply dipping the eggplant in milk and coating in the wheat germ. For a gluten free option use a gluten free bread crumb.