To make this eggplant parmesan recipe, you will need to use fresh, firm eggplants. If you're not a fan of eggplants, you could always use green and yellow squash instead, it's just as tasty and sure to be a hit either way!
I suggest zuchinni or acorn squash, but any of your favorites will work.
Of course, without the eggplant, what do you call it? How about Faux Eggplant Parmesan!
The first step in this eggplant parmesan recipe is to prepare the eggplant for cooking. First you will need to slice them, either lengthwise, or in rounds. The slices should be about 1/4 inch wide.
Place your slices at the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle with salt. Continue on, adding another layer of eggplant and salt, repeating until all of the eggplant is sliced and prepped. You can lay a papertowel over the top layer and take a heavy plate and set it on top. This will encourage the eggplant to settle and release it's juices...making it more tender and ready to cook. Draining the eggplant should take about 2 hours.
While this is happening, you can start working on the sauce. In a large food processor or blender, mix together the tomatoes, garlic, 1/4 cup of olive oil and a pinch each of salt and pepper. You can also add a dash of oregano at this point if you like.
After the eggplant has been drained, remove the slices, pressing each down onto a paper towel to remove any excess water and salt. Prepare a large, shallow dish with the bread crumbs and flour. Mix well. Crack eggs and beat together in another shallow dish.
Get ready to fry, fry, fry! In a large skillet, heat a 1/2 inch of vegetable or canola oil. While the pan is heating, dredge the eggplant slices first in the breadcrumb mixture, then in the beaten egg. Layer the eggplant slices in the bottom of the pan and allow to cook until both sides are golden brown. Remove them from the heat and let drain on a paper towel.
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare your baking dish (10x15 inch is a good size) with a ladle full of tomato sauce. Cover the pan with the fried eggplant slices, then a third of the cheeses and a third of the basil leaves. Top with another ladle of sauce and then repeat until all of the ingredients have been used up.
Bake the parmesan until the cheese has melted and the top is slightly brown or approximately 25- 30 minutes. Let the dish cool for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Serves 8.
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