Eggplant Parmesan

192 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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{ 192 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) November 8, 2011

Definitely try eggplant grilled or roasted in small cubes–it tastes GREAT that way. Also small variety of eggplants are significantly (!) better than the regular purple eggplant. I love Italian eggplant, Japanese, and fairytale–yes that is the actual name–eggplant the best. They have less seeds and don’t tend to be bitter. They are a bit pricier but well worth the cost!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2011

I’ve been eying the Jap eggplant at the grocery store for a while…I should try it out!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 8, 2011

I feel kind of “meh” about eggplant too, but I think it’s all about how you prepare it. I roasted some last night and had it in a quinoa salad with other roasted veggies, and I loved it! Other times when I just sauteed it in a pan, I didn’t like it so much.

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Jamie November 8, 2011

Congrats on your awards! I voted for you. You opened up the food blogging world for me :)
You deserved it!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2011

Thanks Jamie!

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B'klynHeart November 8, 2011

Love when a blogger and awesome recipe writer magically reads my mind when I’m thinking to myself, “What am I going to do with that eggplant I purchased the other day?”

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Stacy November 8, 2011

Yum. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

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Sara November 8, 2011

YUM! I’m going to make this next week!!

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Emma (Emma+Jacob) November 8, 2011

Holy! Eggplants in your place are HUGE!!!

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Deb November 8, 2011

Now I’m hungry ~ awesome looking recipe! And a big congratulations to you!! You are surely deserving of such recognition. : )

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Brittany November 8, 2011

Congrats!!!

I’ve been reading for about a week and I’m not surprised!!! :)

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Rachel November 9, 2011

definitely going to give this one a try!!!!

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Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com November 9, 2011

It sounds so delicious! Will it make a big difference if I will not use the breadcrumbs? A family member has a strong allergy to it. Or maybe you know some good substitutions for it? Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2011

The breadcrumbs are what give it the crunch so I wouldnt say it would turn out the same without them. Is it a gluten thing? If so, I have seen GF breadcrumbs on the market. Otherwise, you might be able to use ground almonds or cornmeal. Let me know if you try it!

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AGS November 10, 2011

Ground nuts would work. I recommend walnuts. Their flavor compliments eggplant.

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The Kitchen Buzzz November 9, 2011

Your sliced eggplant photos are superb! The recipe is unique and the colors are beautiful. Grazie. Nancy Real – The Kitchen Buzzz

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2011

Thank you!

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Gail November 9, 2011

I’ve never cooked eggplant before, but last night I made Caesar Salad with eggplant bacon from Appetite for Reduction, OMG it was amazing. Now I’m wanting to try other things with eggplant. Your dish looks delicious.

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Heather @ For the Love of Kale November 9, 2011

It’s 7:23 a.m. I just finished breakfast. I’m thinking this would be a lovely second one. :-)

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers November 9, 2011

Looks delish! I just started to like Eggplant Parmesan, so I can’t wait to try this recipe!!

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Katrina November 9, 2011

This sounds delightful!

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The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh November 9, 2011

I’ve tried eggplant once and it wasn’t a pleasant experience but it was also a frozen cutlet deal. Perhaps one day I will summon up the courage to do it again but this time FRESH!

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MaryBe November 9, 2011

Congrats on the well deserved awards! I’m so proud of you! I’m going to make that eggplant parm to celebrate

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suzanne November 9, 2011

Congrats on the wins…you SO deserve them!
Great recipe – i have only had eggplant 1-2 x and found it a bit slimy or something – this recipe is worth trying to change my view :-) Thanks!

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Erica November 9, 2011

Congrats on your awards. The eggplant parmesan looks great!

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Teresa in Texas November 9, 2011

In regards to my recent comment: Ok, Obviously I’m not a vegan (chicken in a pita comment), BUT I do appreciate your blog and it has been very helpful to me in my weight loss efforts. I’ve lost 45lbs in 6 months and your blog has been a part of that! Teresa in Texas

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Jennifer November 9, 2011

Congratulations on your blog honors, Angela! Well deserved!!!

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Suzanne November 9, 2011

Congratulations on your awards, you certainly deserve them.
Lovely recipe! But am I being a bit daft (or British) but where’s the parmesan?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2011

I suppose the vegan cheeze sauce works in its place. :)

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Suzanne November 10, 2011

Of course! Doh! Sorry……vegan!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 10, 2011

haha np ;)

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lucy s. November 9, 2011

Congratulations on the well-deserved awards :) Lovely photos in this post.

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Kaitlyn@TheTieDyeFiles November 9, 2011

Two Italian recipes in a row! My boyfriend the pasta lover will be pleased :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 9, 2011

hehe watch out I get on kicks!

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SamCyn November 9, 2011

Congrats on the awards! The eggplant parmesan looks really tasty ;-)

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Ellie@fitforthesoul November 9, 2011

Okay, wow…please don’t give me a heart attack! The second I saw that picture, I thought how cute and beautiful and delicious it looked!!

I love eggplant in any shape or form, and one of my fave ways of eating it is really healthy actually! It’s a Korean side dish that includes a lot of–what else? But garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, Korean red pepper flakes, soy sauce, and a few other things. Sorry, I had to share it because it’s my fave! I really want some of your dish now, too. Great job Ange~

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Kris | iheartwellness.com November 9, 2011

I really think we need to all make this eggplant parm to celebrate the big award your just received!!! This is FAB!!!

Girl, your on fire ;)

xxoo

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Meesh November 9, 2011

Wow, Angela, that looks amazing! I’ve only had eggplant a few times and I’ve always loved it, but I’m sure it’s because it was prepared well. I’ve never cooked it myself, but this makes me want to try!

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Marian November 9, 2011

We always grew up eating eggplant fried in my household, since my Dad was a Italian, but I now prefer eggplant in other forms such as this beautiful recipe:)

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AGS November 10, 2011

My mother made eggplant parm all the time growing up. I loved it. My brother — not so much. I continue to love eggplant in all forms — purreed soup, compote, stir-fry, you name it. But the part of me that cooks a lot of italian food suggests that eggplant parm should never be “spongy” (unless you like it that way, of course). It should be completely soft. Almost — I hate describing it this way, but this is how my brother would describe it — “slimey”.

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greenthyme November 11, 2011

This looks fabulous. I make something similar and I love to bake the eggplant like this. It’s much healthier and lighter. Great idea to place it on spinach.

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B'klynHeart November 11, 2011

Ah, I’ve been on a “Oh She Glows” kick as of late! Made this a couple of nights ago and it was fabulous! Also made an extra jar of the cheese sauce which is fabulous and has many uses. Just tried my first Green Monster smoothie and am hooked…

I must once again say Thank You! It’s all so delicious and makes me feel all happy and yummy inside!

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Melissa November 13, 2011

I made this for dinner last night. Ah-mazing!! I added lots of extra spices to the batter as you suggested. I am looking forward to having this for lunch and dinner today!!!

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Colleen November 14, 2011

I LOVE eggplant parm! My dad cuts the slices very thin because we don’t like the texture very much.

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vegantester November 21, 2011

this is a FAB recipe – i subbed a little chickpea flour in, because i love the nutty, creamy flavour, and i also used a couple of japanese eggplants sliced very thin – the thinner it is, the less noticeable the texture: as my husband (who hates eggplant) said “they just taste like fried goodness” (except baked, so even better). i also doubled up the seasonings and added seasoning to the panko mix.

i love the cheez sauce, too, although – like the butternut mac n cheez – i halved the nutritional yeast, because i find that it then tastes more cheesy and less “noochy”.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) November 21, 2011

Glad you enjoyed it! :)

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Ava December 4, 2011

Fried eggplant is my favourite food of all time. This comes so close that I think i can replace the fried stuff! I’m going to make this for Christmas dinner (and probably every week as well!)

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kristin December 5, 2011

Congrats on the awards! I totally voted. I can’t wait to try this recipe! Looks so good!

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Anu December 5, 2011

Congrats on your awards…well-deserved but SO overdue! Keep up the great work :)

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Sherry Woodward December 5, 2011

This recipe looks great! I love eggplant parmesan — and fairly new lover of eggplant (within reason). I bet a layer of roasted red pepper and garlic would be delicious on these… ok, it’s time to get to the kitchen laboratory. Thanks for posting this!
~Sherry

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