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Eggplant parmesan

Here’s a super-easy and filling meatless Italian dish that tastes even better reheated the next day …

Here’s a super-easy and filling Italian vegetarian dish that tastes even better reheated the next day

Photos by Charlie McKay

Eggplant parmesan

4 large eggplants, sliced and salted
3 eggs, beaten
Approximately 1 cup flour
Approximately 1 cup breadcrumbs
Oil for frying

For the sauce:
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-3 tins chopped tomatoes

Approximately 300g fresh mozzarella, sliced
Approximately 90g parmesan, grated
Handful fresh basil leaves

First salt the eggplant to remove excess moisture. Lay the slices flat, sprinkle with salt and leave for half an hour. Then pat dry with a paper towel.

Dip the eggplant slices first in the flour, then the beaten eggs and finally the breadcrumbs. Shallow fry each slice in oil, stacking them, interspersed with paper towels, on a plate as you go.

To make the sauce, lightly sauté the onion and garlic over a low heat. Add the tinned tomatoes and cook until the sauce has reduced and thickened.

Spoon a generous layer of sauce onto the bottom of a large oven-proof dish and cover with a layer of eggplant slices. Add a layer of sliced mozzarella, a layer of grated parmesan and then a layer of torn basil leaves. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Repeat until you have three layers of eggplant (or two, depending on the dimensions of your dish). Top with a final layer of sauce and a generous sprinkling of parmesan (no mozzarella).

Serve with crusty sourdough potato bread with a side dish of mashed potato and optional sautéed spinach.

Serves 4

Article illustration  

Veggie cheese?

Are you a vegetarian or cooking for one? Many people don’t realise that the rennet used to set cheese is traditionally made from an animal’s (usually a cow’s) stomach lining. This means that much of the cheese on sale is not strictly vegetarian. Ensure you buy vegetarian cheese by checking the ingredients for vegetarian or microbial rennet.

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