It only made sense to make my hubby's favorite dish for Valentine's Day. Eggplant parmesan is a wonderful make ahead meal full of lots of delicious leftovers. (I love leftovers!) It's also a great dish to make 2 or 3 of in a snap. One of my dearest friends had a baby 3 weeks ago and this was the perfect meal to make for their special V-day dinner!
I've had many different types of eggplant parmesans. Some good, some not so good. I'm not a fan of thick cut eggplant that turns mushy after cooking. I'm more of a thin cut crunchy gal! To date, hubby says my parmesan is the best he's ever had. Not a bad review!
My recipe is a mishmash of many I've eaten, cooked, and read about.
I hope everyone had a very special Valentine's Day!
Recipe created by Epicurean Mom
2-3 japanese eggplants, peeled and sliced thinly into rounds (or to your liking)
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
8 oz baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
1/2 tablespoon thyme leaves, chopped if desired
1 jar marina sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
1 cup parmesan cheese
15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil, set aside.
Pour the 2 bread crumbs together on a plate and mix. Beat the egg white and water together, until well combined. Dip an eggplant round into the egg wash then coat with bread crumbs, set onto prepared baking sheet. Repeat until all rounds are dredged (you may need to baking sheets for all the rounds, or bake them in batches.) Sprinkle some salt over the tops of the eggplant and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn eggplant over, sprinkle with salt and bake for another 7-10 minutes, (We like ours crispy and dark brown) cooked until desired doneness. Set aside to cool. Lower heat to 350 degrees.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat tablespoon of olive oil. Combine the shallot and garlic, cooking until fragrant. Add the chopped mushrooms and thyme to the skillet, stirring well. Season with salt, pepper and add any spices of your liking (I use a sprinkle of 21 seasoning salute form Trader Joe's.) Cook until the mushrooms are reduced and browning. Pour the marinara, over the top of the mushroom mixture, stirring for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Grease an 8 x 10 pan with olive oil. Spread half the marinara sauce over the bottom, half the eggplant rounds, evenly spread half the ricotta cheese over the eggplant, half the mozzarella and finish with parmesan cheese. Repeat this process, finishing with parmesan cheese.
Bake the eggplant parmesan at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, or until bubbly and browning on the top. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.