Eggplant Parmesan

188 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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{ 188 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah with Veggie Kids November 8, 2011

Now I know what I’m making for my hubby this weekend! He’s not quite a vegetarian but I think the eggplant is a meat replacer for sure and he won’t even miss it! Looks delicious. I should try it on my dad too-he claims to hate eggplant…bet he’d like this one though!!

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning November 8, 2011

Congrats on your awards- how awesome!!
And I had to gasp at your post- I LOVE EGGPLANT! My husband used to always say he didn’t like it, but then I grilled it for him and he changed his tune.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

I really do love it grilled…I don’t make it often though. I wonder if I could grill it on my waffle iron??? lol

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Arielle (Your Vegan Girlfriend) November 8, 2011

Can you make a gluten-free version please???!!!??? All my attempts at making eggplant parm gf style have failed miserably …. Angela to the rescue?? (hint hint ;) )

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Jessica said in her recipe that you can use brown rice flour and GF breadcrumbs to make it gluten free.

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Brandina November 8, 2011

I simply can not wait to try this dish out and I’m even more excited about giving it to my boyfriend and kiddo and seeing how they like it. Last night, we watched the new Forks Over Knives movie and it had all three of us saying it’s worth trying. Your recipes will be a main part of the changes we will be making because every single one I’ve tried has been a hit so far. They especially loved the Pumpkin Cheese Sauce!

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Tiff @ Love Sweat and Beers November 8, 2011

Thanks for sharing! I hope to try this on Saturday night.

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Jill in Chicago November 8, 2011

This is PERFECT timing — just bought an eggplant and was thinking of making E. Parmesan! Thanks to you AND to Jessica!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

:D

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Bees November 8, 2011

Love your blog.. you write so sincerely and openly!

I love eggplant and make something similar.. just as a suggestion for the coating which I’ve found to work well.. you could use a dry mixture of crushed croutons/flour/crushed pretzels (or a combination thereof) + spices (garlic powder, basil, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes, onion flakes) and it comes out really well-seasoned!

:-)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thank you :) That mixture sounds awesome!

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kathleen @ the daily crumb November 8, 2011

i just rekindled my relationship with eggplant in a roasted eggplant and chickpea salad. i think the problem is that poorly prepared eggplant is pretty much inedible, but properly roasted with olive oil + salt (or baked into this eggplant parmesan)… i think it’s delicious!

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LizAshlee November 8, 2011

Amazing photos…I love the recipe too!

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Amber K November 8, 2011

I was so excited to see your blog win. Congratulations!

I have tried eggplant once before and the texture was super weird, but this looks delicious! I’ll have to try it.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thanks!

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Lauren @ What Lauren Likes November 8, 2011

How cool! I am not the biggest fan of eggplant…but I am soo willing to try this :)

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katie@ KatieDid November 8, 2011

And that’s what I love about eggplant- that spongey weird texture! I usually just cube it up and throw it in a stir fry towards them end so it doesnt get toooo soggy. But I find it picks up and holds flavors so well.

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Jessica November 8, 2011

Angela this recipe looks awesome. I can’t imagine a world without eggplant! I love it. It was always a staple veg in my family. I use it in Indian, Middle
Eastern, Italian and even Japanese! My husband who normally turns his nose up will now eat it happily! Cant wait to try this version.

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Char @ www.charskitchen.ca November 8, 2011

Yummy!! I lovelovelove Eggplant Parmesan but it’s been a few years since I’ve made it. Thanks for the reminder :D

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Mama Pea November 8, 2011

I love eggplant parm but never make it. I have no excuse now.

I was so very proud and happy for you on Friday when you won. You deserve EVERY accolade you get! Congratulations.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thanks Sarah! Congrats to you as well. You are always an inspiration to me! Go, vegan food. :)

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Angela @ PattycakesnPancakes November 8, 2011

Wow this looks super! I can’t wait to try it!

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RachelSD November 8, 2011

Thank you, thank you for this recipe! I keep getting eggplants from my CSA and I don’t know what to do with them! My mother-in-law practically soaks the things in oil and fries them and they are gross that way. This looks great!

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TeenyLittleSuperChef November 8, 2011

Dude, congratulations on the Foodbuzz awards! As if they could have awarded to anyone else :) Your blog rocks and I enjoy reading it each and every day. I’m so excited about this Eggplant Parm recipe. I really abhor the traditional way of making it because it’s always so greasy and gross. I have a feeling your’s will be exactly the way I’ve always hoped it would taste. I can’t wait to try it out, especially with your cheeze sauce. Yum yum!
Have a great Tuesday!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thank you that means a lot to me. I hope this lives up to the dream! ;)

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Heidi November 8, 2011

I love eggplant so I’m excited to try your recipe. But I also have to give you props for not only eating a food you don’t love, but for working on a recipe and posting about a food you don’t love. Now that is open-mindedness!

I used to think that eggplant was mostly just beneficial for its bulk, but here’s more on the nutrients:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/19046-nutritional-benefits-eggplant/

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Lara November 8, 2011

Fantastic idea for using eggplant or “aubergine” as I call it. Your photography is inspiring by the way, keep forgetting to mention that ;-)

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga November 8, 2011

I always fail miserably at eggplant! One of those foods that I either over/under cook…or turn into mush or total rubber. Can’t seem to get it quite right. This recipe inspires me.

And what beautiful pics, Angela! So vibrant…they make me want to dive in and somehow manage to cook eggplant more properly :)

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Shelley S. November 8, 2011

Hoorah!! Congratulations on winning best overall and best veg blogs! Well deserved!! =)

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Heather (heathers dish) November 8, 2011

I am loving the vibrant colors in this! Such a beautiful dish!

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Christina November 8, 2011

Hi! I have been reading your blog for some time now. I went back to the very beginning and am reading from there, which as you can imagine will take some time. Anyhow I finally got around to making one of your recipes last night. I made the Holiday Soup For The Soul. The soup is absolutely fantastic and I cannot wait to have some of the leftovers for lunch here shortly! Thanks for all of the inspiring and encouraging posts. I too am someone who used to abuse my body by not giving it the right fuel. In fact, I have a little purse calendar that I will never throw out because it reminds me of how bad it once got. I would mark “100″, “300″, FD, “200″, etc on each day. Can you believe that the number indicated how many calories I would allow myself for the day, and FD stood for Fast Day meaning I couldn’t eat anything? How I expected to nourish myself on 200, 300, or 100 calories is beyond me. Sure I was really thin but I was absolutely miserable and willing to bet I was a real bitch on wheels most days! So, long story short, I can completely identify with you and your readers. I appreciate a health blog comeing from someone who has a story similar to mine. We weren’t all perfect all of the time.

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Melomeals: Vegan for $3.33 a Day November 8, 2011

That looks great.. I like to marinate my eggplant overnight (raw) in a super garlicky balsamic/olive oil/rosemary dressing before breading it.. the acid and salt break it down really nicely and impart so much flavor.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

that sounds so amazing! I never thought about marinating it, but what a genius idea. I will have to try that sometime.

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Caitlin @ Vegetarian in the City November 8, 2011

looks great!! i tried something similar recently with eggplant & zucchini mixed in casserole dish. check it out http://livelovenyc.blogspot.com/2011/10/eggplant-zucchini-asiago-bake.html

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 8, 2011

how delish! I made something similar using chestnut flour as the ‘breadcrumbs’ – a great GF alternative and oh so crispy! http://www.bakebikeblog.com/2011/09/eggplant-and-basil-parmigiana.html

and big congrats on the awards win! Well deserved!

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Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes November 8, 2011

This is such a great idea!

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Victoria November 8, 2011

I love eggplant and have always had trouble cooking them at home. Definitely didn’t want to fry them. Can’t wait to try this. Congrats on the wins! You were my very first blog and absolutely my favorite (followed by Dailygarnish). I “discovered” you on a website “Sparkpeople” where someone talked about how great you were. Since that time, I have discovered several other blogs and have created some amazing dishes. Love reading your blogs and trying your recipes. So happy for you.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

Thank you Victoria, that means a lot!

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Stephanie @ Snacking on Sunshine November 8, 2011

How delicious does this look!!! WOW you’re such a rockstar in the kitchen. I can’t wait to give this a try this weekend :D
Congratulations on both awards, you really deserve them!

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Melissa Lillie November 8, 2011

congrats! You derserve it!!!

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Stacey November 8, 2011

Congrats on the awards!! You definitely deserve them and much more. Your blog is the only one I read (besides my besties but I’m obligated to do so, right? Steph, if you read this, I love you!).
Keep up the amazing work, I look forward to your blog daily. If only I could hire you and stick you in my pocket…

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 8, 2011

heh ;) I was actually thinking about hiring you as my marketer? ;)

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Katie @ Peace Love and Oats November 8, 2011

I agree that eggplant probably is one of my lesser favorites, but when it’s cooked right and seasoned well, it can be good! Haha I actually had some in my lunch today!

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Andrea November 8, 2011

Congratulations on your awards, you definately deserved them!

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Katelyn @ Chef Katelyn November 8, 2011

AHHHH no I love eggplant!!! Just died kinda. A little/a lot. Sending this to Mama Bear to make upon my arrival home.

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Rebecca November 8, 2011

Congratulations on winning TWO awards. You are an amazing lady :)
Thanks so much for this recipe — I’m an Italian girl and eggplant p-san is one of my mom’s staple meals. I make my own veg version, but I must try your cheez sauce!!

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Caitlin November 8, 2011

Congratulations on your award, Angela! You deserve it! It’s quite obvious from reading your blog that you truly love what you do and that you pour your heart and soul into it. Thank you for sharing your successes AND failures with all of us, not to mention all of the yummy recipes. I don’t know how you manage to make this blog so professional yet so down-to-earth at the same time. Keep up the wonderful work!

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J.C. November 8, 2011

I made a similar recipe for eggplant but instead of using a baking sheet & flipping them mid-way, I put them on a broiler so they got nice & crispy on both sides without having that extra step–same oven temp (using a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet works just the same). I make zucchini the same way since I don’t like it all mushy & soft like most recipes turn out (at least for me).

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2011

That would work great too! I will have to try that out.

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Morgansmenu November 8, 2011

I am going to make that cheeze sauce pronto! You know, that spongy texture is really pronounced in those large round “globe eggplants”. I think you might like it better if you try using the thinner Chinese or Japanese eggplant varieties (if you can find them bc they are definitely less common) – it is less bitter and less spongy. :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2011

Thanks I will try that!

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