eggplant minus parmesan
The first and last time I made eggplant parmesan was about two years ago. I figured it was pretty self-explanatory: like chicken parm, which I’d made successfully before. The eggplant somehow managed to turn out too chewy, too mushy, and too dry simultaneously, and I was too discouraged to try again. But I adore eggplant, whether it’s parm on a hero or in brinjal bharta, and once I learned the trick of salting the eggplant and letting it rest to drain out some of the moisture, I was ready to try again. I did it without the breadcrumbs to make it lighter, and worked on a hunch that the title character of the parmesan might actually be optional. It’s not a traditional eggplant parm, but as a cheesy, saucy, vegetable-y dish, it absolutely works.
Eggplant minus parmesan:
- 1 eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch rounds
- 2 tbsp salt
- 8 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 lb ricotta
- 1/4 lb mozzarella, shredded
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 24-32 oz pasta sauce (this is Emeril’s Roasted Gahhhhlic)
- Peel the eggplant and slice it into rounds. Sprinkle both sides of each piece with salt and place in a colander. Let rest for half an hour. This allows the moisture to sweat out of the eggplant.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the cheeses, egg and basil in a bowl.
- Rinse the eggplant in cold water until the salt is removed. Heat 4 tbsp olive oil in a skillet and brown the eggplant, in two batches, on both sides. Add more oil as needed.
- Spread about a cup of pasta sauce at the bottom of a baking dish. Top with the first layer of eggplant slices. Layer with half the cheese mixture. Add another layer of sauce, then eggplant. Top with remaining sauce and cheese.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes, until sauce bubbles.