This delicious eggplant casserole from my mom makes a wonderful meatless meal. It’s a resourceful way to use up the eggplant in your garden, and the homemade marinara sauce tastes so good. —Valerie Belley St. Louis, Missouri
- 2 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1-1/2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1-1/2 cups dry bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup butter, divided
- 8 cups (32 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Place eggplant in a colander; sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute the onions, basil, bay leaves, oregano and thyme in oil until onions are tender.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, honey and lemon-pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add garlic; simmer 10 minutes longer. Discard bay leaves.
- Rinse eggplant slices; pat dry with paper towels. In a shallow bowl, combine eggs and pepper; place bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Dip eggplant into eggs, then coat with crumbs. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- In a large skillet, cook half of the eggplant in 2 tablespoons butter for 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining eggplant and butter.
- In each of two greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dishes, layer half of each of the eggplant, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 375° for 35 minutes or until a thermometer reads 160°. Yield: 10-12 servings.
Originally published as Eggplant Parmigiana in Taste of Home August/September 2007, p39
Medium-Bodied Red Wine
Enjoy this recipe with a medium-bodied red wine such as Chianti, Sangiovese, Malbec or Zinfandel.
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