Eggplant Parmesan

191 comments

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Before you tell me you hate eggplant and cast off this recipe, hear me out:

I’m not a big eggplant fan either.

I think Eggplant is pretty spongy and bland. In fact, it’s probably one of my least favourite vegetables! 

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Poor ‘lil Eggplant, right? :\

I decided to give Eggplant another shot when I came across this stunning Eggplant Parmesan recipe from Jessica. I knew immediately that I had to try it for myself.

It just looked so darn good…

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This recipe involves breading and baking eggplant slices until crispy. Think of a breaded chicken burger and that’s what the breaded crust reminds me of. It’s perfection.

Mind you, the eggplant itself tastes nothing like chicken and still has a bit of that strange eggplant texture, but I found myself enjoying it none the less!

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The first thing you do is peel the eggplant and slice it into 8-10 pieces about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle each slice liberally with salt and let it stand for 30 minutes or so. The salt draws out the water and the slices will begin to “sweat”- it’s pretty cool! A fun science experiment in the kitchen.

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While the eggplant is working up a sweat, you can also get busy making your batter. I followed Jessica’s batter recipe fairly closely, only I used Whole Wheat Pastry Flour instead of Brown rice flour. If you want it gluten-free use a gluten-free flour and GF breadcrumbs. It takes just a couple minutes to mix together. I’ll also tell you what I would change below.

After 30 minutes, run cold water over the slices to wash off the water and salt and then pat dry with a towel.

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Dip each slice into the batter and then dip it into your breadcrumbs on both sides. The more breadcrumbs the better.

Place on a baking sheet and bake for 8-9 mins at 450F on each side until very golden and crispy. The crispier you make them, the better they taste! I used Panko breadcrumbs and they worked great.

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Jessica served her eggplant cutlets over pasta, but I decided to serve it over spinach greens for a lighter option as I wasn’t feeling pasta after all the lasagna we’ve been eating. I topped it with heated pasta sauce and my homemade 5-minute low-fat cheeze sauce!

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It really is a stunning dish. :)

My tips:

  • I really, really love the breaded crust. A++. I am already thinking about what else I could use this crispy batter on! Crispy veggie burgers? Sweet potato chips? Zucchini fries? Tofu?
  • The eggplant itself still has a bit of a spongy texture, but it wasn’t that bad. The awesome texture of the crust really made the eggplant texture less noticeable. If you slice the eggplant thin it’s even less noticeable. It reminded me of a breaded chicken burger, although didn’t taste like one of course.
  • Next time I would definitely add more seasonings as the patties could use a bit more flavour, but with the pasta sauce and cheeze sauce it wasn’t a big issue at all. Next time I would just amp up the seasonings a bit more.
  • I haven’t tested this on Eric yet, but I will update this post when he tries it. He absolutely hates eggplant’s texture, so that will be interesting!
  • I cut the eggplant into rounds, but realized Jessica sliced hers vertically. Vertically probably makes mere sense because you don’t end up with tiny rounds when you get to the end. It’s totally up to you though.
  • The cutlets get soft in the fridge so they must be reheated in the oven. The cutlets do not reheat well in the microwave, trust me I tried!  To reheat: I baked them at 450F for 5 minutes on each side and they re-heated wonderfully and got really crisp.
  • I haven’t tried it yet, but I suspect these cutlets would be awesome in a sandwich or wrap! I’m definitely trying that this week.

 

 

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Take home message:

If you are an eggplant fan I would guess you will LOVE this recipe.

If you aren’t an eggplant fan, I’d say there’s a chance you could really enjoy it or really hate it. Make at your own risk!

As for me, I will probably make this again and experiment more with the flavours and seasonings. I can already see myself making a curry flavour cutlet with a delicious Indian dish! I’m going to try this in a sandwich for lunch with some pasta sauce and cheeze. It should be good.

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It’s update time!

The winner of my 3-year blogiversary giveaway is #724- Megan… Congrats Megan! I have emailed you to collect your apron wishes and addy. Thanks to everyone for all your kind words on my 3 year blogiversary.

I found out on the weekend that I won “Best Overall Blog” and “Best Veg Blog” in the Foodbuzz Blog Awards! Thank you so much for your votes. It’s thrilling to me that a vegan blog could receive such praise within the food community which is usually dominated by so many animal-based foods. Your support means more to me than you know!!

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{ 191 comments… read them below or add one }

Becca November 8, 2011

Congratulations on your awards! How exciting for OSG :)

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Alex @ Raw Recovery November 8, 2011

This recipe looks awesome! I only found out that I actually love eggplant after living in Greece and eating at different tavernas. They all serve fried zuchinni and eggplant with tzatziki and it blew my mind. Congratulations on your awards!

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table November 8, 2011

Love the healthy breading option! Ever since I got back from Italy, I’ve been eggplant-obsessed. I did a non-breaded vegan Eggplant Rollatini a couple of weeks ago that I fell in love with. Eggplant Parm next, for sure! :)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 8, 2011

Congrats on the Foodbuzz awards Ange – that’s fantastic! And this recipe sounds great. I too, think that eggplant is pretty bland on its own, but I love how it absorbs flavour of other ingredients. The crispy crust sounds delicious!

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Casey @ Pocket Full of Sunshine November 8, 2011

Your photos are just gorgeous!

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Morgan @ Life After Bagels November 8, 2011

Oh YES do it on tofu … I’m getting bored of tofu these days :P

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Sweet and Savvy November 8, 2011

So, Maybe I have been living under a rock, but I’ve never tried eggplant. This recipe definitely makes me wanna pick one up:)

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Claire @ Live and Love to Eat November 8, 2011

I’m a big fan of eggplant, and love to oven “fry” things to get that crispy texture. Beautiful photos!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Your comment just made me realize that these might be amazing fried too! ;)

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Cat @Breakfast to Bed November 8, 2011

Do it up brooklyn style! Saute some broccoli rabe, stuff it in a hero roll with evoo and roasted garlic, smear with some sundried tomato pesto and add the eggplant! You WON’T regret it.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Wow that sounds amazing. How is the eggplant prepared?

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Natasha November 8, 2011

Hi Angela – CONGRATS!!!!! You so deserve it!!!!
I am a “Melanzane” – FREAK! Also known as Eggplant Parmesan…I would love to share my spin on it with you if you’d like….hate to brag but my friends cannot believe that it is healthy for you! Your version not only looks delish – but so pretty!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thank you Natasha :)
Please do share!

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Natasha November 9, 2011

I will send it to you via email – is there one for you on the site? I looked but I have Menstral Mind :O

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Natasha November 9, 2011

Ugh…! Sorry Angela – just found your email – I will send you the recipe tomorrow – I have my “85 year old – fulla spit and vinegar Monster-in-law” coming over for dinner – so things are a bit hectic here. Sounds wonderful eh?

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Erin November 8, 2011

I love eggplant and I can’t wait to make this!!!

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Melissa @ My Mango Has Roots November 8, 2011

Ah! I’ve been meaning to post my own similar recipe for ages but it’s sat on the backburner. It’s one of my FAVORITE go-tos. I use a few less ingredients, cut them a little thinner than that, cook the rounds maybe 7 minutes on each side, and then stack the eggplant rounds in a tier of 3 with a little sauce in between, and a little more sauce with sprinkling cheese (for those who eat it) on top. Getting four servings out of one large eggplant, each tier of 3 rounds is only 113 calories! I agree, there is still a bit of sponginess, but I love ‘em.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Oh I just love your idea of stacking them!

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Melissa @ My Mango Has Roots November 8, 2011

Thanks! And CONGRATS on your wins – I threw a few votes your way :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thanks :)

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hannah alehandra November 8, 2011

Looks stunningly delicious! Kiss from England.xo http://hannahalehandra.blogspot.com/

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Jen at luck & funny November 8, 2011

Mmmmmmm . . . eggplant. Yes, please!

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Ashley November 8, 2011

Congratulations on your awards- I love this blog! The recipe looks delish, though I admit I’m not much of an eggplant fan either! But I still will try it because my boyfriend is always asking me to cook something with eggplant in it. :)

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Lindsay November 8, 2011

Good idea to remove the skin! I always make it with skin on and sometimes it’s difficult to cut through.

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Carolyn @ HealthKitten.com November 8, 2011

I *love* eggplant! My favorite way to cook them is to slice then and grill them until they’re cooked (grilling them allows the moisture to cook away without salting), and make sandwiches out of them: toasted bread spread with hummus and topped with eggplant, spinach and tomato.

Will definitely be trying this as soon as I get my hands on some eggplant! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

mmm I love those grilled sandwiches too!

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Carolyn @ HealthKitten.com November 8, 2011

It works great with zucchini too! (or both!) ;)

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Anna @ The Guiltless Life November 8, 2011

Okay, you saved me from clicking away because I TOO hate eggplant, but if you say it really tastes good then I’m all for trying this out!

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Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} November 8, 2011

I’m not a big fan of eggplant either, but eggplant parm I can stomach. It’s definitely a weird taste/texture thing.

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen November 8, 2011

I feel the same way about eggplant. Don’t hate it but there are just so many other veggies I’d rather have. I’ll have to give this a try.
Congrats on the award!

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tweal November 8, 2011

That’s crazy you dislike eggplant – I absolutely love it! I have actually never tried making eggplant parmesan, but this recipe sounds nice and not greasy. I may try it with my next eggplant purchase.

Also, the eggplant peanut soup from Veganomicon is ahhhmazing. I have a feeling it will convince even the most stalwart eggplant hater.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Oh man I need to get that cookbook!

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Melissa November 8, 2011

The only way to get rid of the spongy texture of eggplant for baking is to remove the air from inside…. it’s best done by sweating the veggie in the microwave. You slice the eggplant, salt and lay the slices on plate covered in a paper towel, then cover the tops of the eggplant slices with another paper towel. Find something heavy, I use four additional plates and stack them on top to weigh the eggplant down, and push the air out as they “cook” in the microwave. Typically you run on high power for 5-10min, they are done when they’ve become more flexible and reduced in depth. Then you can cook them like you would in any recipe and they will take on a very different overall texture, soft, dense, and flavorful…. not at all spongy. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Oh wow that’s such a cool tip! Thanks :)

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Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner November 8, 2011

That sounds INCREDIBLE!!!!!!! Me need to get me an eggplant!

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amy November 8, 2011

Congratulations on your awards! You truly deserve them :)

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Tonya November 8, 2011

Ok, I log onto your blog and see EGGPLANT PARMESEAN and my mouth hits the floor! I was like am I on the right blog?? yummm LOVE IT! have not HAD it since I went veg. Italian food is so awesome but we vegs miss out because of all the ooey gooey cheese. There is this one Italian place near my school that has an awesome vegan menu that’s just as big as their regular menu, tho. Thanks for putting eggplant back on my shopping list. Congratz on the best overall blog and best veg blog award! Many of your recipes make regular appearances in my kitchen. Thank you for contributing to my health.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thank you Tonya! I hope it lives up to your expectations :)

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Ashley November 8, 2011

Congratulations on the awards!! You definitely deserve them. :)

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Andrea @ Vegvacious November 8, 2011

Mmmmm….I’ve made this recipe before and I LOVE it! I’m not usually a huge eggplant fan either but everything is better with a little sauce and cheese!!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

yes i totally agree :)

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Mary November 8, 2011

Congratulations on your awards! They are well deserved. I love your blog and your recipes are always top-notch. Keep up the good work!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thanks Mary!

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Hilliary @ Happily Ever Healthy November 8, 2011

I love eggplant parmesan, and have been looking for a healthy recipe! Thanks for sharing! I hope your week is off to a great start!

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Faith @ For the Health of It November 8, 2011

I actually love eggplant, but I hate making it myself because it never comes out as crispy and delicious as it does in restaurants. Of course, when you order out though, they’re undoubtedly coated in eggy dips or smothered in cheese…major bummer :( I’ll give this one a whirl – you said crunchy coating, im so in!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

That’s what I loved about this recipe…it was CRISPY. The key is baking it at a high temp (450F) and about 9 mins per side. I’ve never had “real” eggplant parmesan before but I thought this version was great.

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Moni'sMeals November 8, 2011

This has got to be the BEST Eggplant Dish I have ever seen. It looks heavy but light at the same time, do you know what I mean? I will for sure be trying this out.

CONGRATS again!!~ but honestly…(duh!) you and your blog are amazing!

:)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Yes I know what you mean…I would agree! It’s “fancy” feeling without the heaviness to it.

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hannah alehandra November 8, 2011

Thank you for the comment on my blog Angela! I have been following yours for a long time now, big fan of yours over here in England so I’m very flattered to read what you wrote on my blog :) Look forward to hearing what Eric thinks of this recipe! I love Eggplant- call it Aubergeine over here though :P ps, you’re gorgeous yourself…xo http://hannahalehandra.blogspot.com/

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Cathy @What Would Cathy Eat? November 8, 2011

This is not a dish I generally crave, but after seeing this version I can hardly stop thinking about it!

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Audrey November 8, 2011

I was very excited to see that you won these awards! I voted for you! You definitely deserve them (though I also would’ve given you best photography blog).

This is a gorgeous and impressive looking dish. Just beautiful! I can’t wait to see what Eric thinks of them.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thanks Audrey!

I can’t wait to see what Eric thinks either…I’m thinking he’s not going to like the texture, but we’ll see!

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Andie November 8, 2011

This looks great! A local burger joint does a breaded portabello mushroom burger that I’d love to replicate. I’m inspired to try this method to see if I can make it work at home.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Oh that’s such a good idea for a Portabello burger! Let me know how it turns out :)

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K November 8, 2011

Congrats!

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Amanda November 8, 2011

I really like eggplant (the texture doesn’t bother me), but my husband isn’t a big fan. I think the panko bread crumbs might be enough to disguise the texture though. I also appreciate the re-heating instructions. Probably wouldn’t make this for my husband’s lunches during the week since he’s reliant on a microwave (and soggy eggplant would not go over well), but I think this could be great for my lunches. More for me! :)

Congrats on your awards! It’s so, so nice to see a vegan blog win “best overall”. You rock!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thank you!
Yea I wouldn’t say it’s a great “bring to lunch” meal unfortunately unless there is a toaster oven around :)

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Bobbi McCormick November 8, 2011

I have a million Eggplants in my garden time to get to work!!! Congrats on your win girl!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thanks Bobbi!

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Kaila @healthyhelperblog! November 8, 2011

I ALWAYS bake my eggplant! Its the only way it tastes good to me and when I do make it like that…I LOVE IT! I actually just made some today! SO GOOD!

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Sonia (the Mexigarian) November 8, 2011

Congrats on your awards !! :D

I do like eggplant, but my own Eric HATES eggplant. He literally takes it out of anything I make, including stews. These do look yummy though. I have to give it a try.

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