So this week I’ve been frantically preserving/canning/freezing/storing as much of my garden as I can before we leave for our trip. And my fav. way to save eggplant has got to be Eggplant Parmesan. So here’s the recipe I used – straight from my grandma.
Step 1: Grow the eggplant:
(as a side note if you really want to freak out your neighbors a good way to do it is to photograph eggplant on your front lawn).
Step 2: Peel the purple part off of the eggplant with a potato peeler.
Step 3: Slice the eggplant into ¼” pieces and layer it in a colander with a sprinkle of salt over each layer.
Step 4: Weigh down the eggplant with a bowl or something (like a hofbrau house mug filled with water) so that it starts to squeeze out some of the juice. This will get rid of the bitter taste.
Step 5: Go knit or fold laundry or something for a few hours and let the eggplant drain. Or you could skip steps 1-5 and just start with straight-up eggplant but according to my grandma this is the way that she does it because this is the way her mother did it. Following my great-grandma’s recipe is motivation enough for me! You could also skip steps 1-5 by using sliced zucchini and making zucchini parmesan instead. Also very tasty.
Step 6: Put on some old clothes b/c this next part is MESSY.
Step 7: Heat some oil in a pan over medium heat until it starts to get little bubbles and steam a little. While you’re waiting for that to happen set up an assembly line of eggplant, flour, and beat eggs:
Step 8: Roll eggplant slices in flour:
Step 9: Dip floured eggplant in egg:
Step 10: Fry until golden brown:
Be very, very careful with this part. The oil is scalding hot and splashes really easily – I have a few burn spots on my hands from this! Also – I used tongs to flip them once or twice so they would cook evenly.
Step 11: Layer the fried yumminess on a plate with paper towels so that some of the oil is absorbed:
Step 12: Once all of the eggplant is fried, layer in a baking dish tomato sauce, then eggplant, then tomato sauce, then parmesan cheese. I cheated and used store-bought sauce but homemade would probably be better!
Repeat until you run out of eggplant or space in the pan, ending with parmesan cheese. I had 3 layers total of eggplant. Also if you want to you can add some shredded mozzarella and/or Romano cheese to cover the top layer:
Step 13: Bake in a 350 oven until the cheese is bubbly. Or do what I did and cover with foil and freeze until that awful day in January when it’s so gray out it seems like summer will never come back.
Because this makes a hell of a mess I made 2 pans to freeze – one of eggplant, and one of zucchini:
It’s as easy to make a little of this as it is a lot so go crazy!