To make the eggplant:
2 medium eggplants (about 2 pounds total)
Salt and Pepper
4 cups Panko breadcrumbs
1 cup Parmesan
1 cup Flour
- In a large bowl, toss half of the eggplant slices and 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt; transfer salted eggplant to colander set over bowl. Repeat with remaining eggplant and salt. Let stand until eggplant releases about 2 tablespoons liquid, 30 to 45 minutes. Arrange eggplant slices on a triple layer of paper towels; cover with a triple layer of paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible, then wipe off excess salt.
- While eggplant is draining, adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-thirds of the oven, place rimmed baking sheets on both racks, and heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a pie plate or shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper. Set aside.
- Combine flour and 1 teaspoon pepper in large zipper-lock bag; shake to combine. Beat eggs in second pie plate. Place 8 to 10 eggplant slices in bag with flour, dip in eggs, let excess egg run off, then coat evenly with breadcrumb mixture. Set breaded slices on wire rack set over baking sheet. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
- Remove preheated baking sheets from oven; add 3 tablespoons oil to each sheet, tilting to coat evenly with oil. Place half of breaded eggplant on each sheet in single layer; bake until eggplant is well browned and crisp, about 30 minutes, switching and rotating baking sheets after 10 minutes, and flipping eggplant slices with wide spatula after 20 minutes. Do not turn off oven.
To make the sauce:
28 oz crushed tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
basil, salt, and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes in large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is light golden, about 3 minutes; stir in tomatoes. Bring sauce to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until slightly thickened and reduced, about 15 minutes. Stir in basil and season to taste.
8 oz mozzarella
1/2 cup parmesan
Top half the eggplant slices with mozzarella cheese. Place in the oven until melted. Meanwhile, place a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange eggplant slices with mozzarella on top of sauce. Place another layer of eggplant on top of mozzarella. Place another thin layer of sauce on top of eggplant. There should be enough eggplant for one more layer. Sprinkle parmesan and one more thin layer of sauce. Sprinkle the remainder of mozzarella on top and bake in the over until cheese is melted.
**Just FYI...I wanted my eggplant to be crunchy so I didn't layer with a whole lot of sauce. The layers in the baking step can be adjusted to how you would like your eggplant to turn out. I'm fairly certain anyway you do it will be delicious!