My son has a natural disinclination for anything remotely resembling a vegetable. My ingenious husband refers to this dish as “dinosaur eggs,” and suddenly my son is more inclined to try it. It still takes some coaxing (and maybe a little bribery), but I’m just happy that he eats at least one vegetable dish.
Whenever I make eggplant parmesan, I remember something a friend said to me: “The secret to a good eggplant parmesan is to use just a little bit of sauce.” He then gave a ten minute lecture on the importance of not drowning the eggplant. I see his point. If you use too much sauce in the baking process, the eggplant turns soggy. I found that if I follow my friend’s advice, the eggplant maintains its crispy texture achieved in the browning process.
- Peel the skin off the eggplant using a vegetable peeler. Line up three shallow dishes (I used pie plates) and place flour in one, cracked eggs in second, and bread crumbs in the third. Beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are mixed. Mix in the salt, garlic powder, and oregano to the bread crumbs.
- Slice the eggplant horizontally into roughly ¼” discs. Coat the eggplant with the flour, then the egg, then the bread crumbs. Heat 1 Tbs olive oil in a non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, saute the eggplant until browned on each side. Add 1 Tbs olive oil before browning each batch of eggplant. Preheat oven to 375°. Spoon a little bit of marinara sauce into a large casserole dish, just enough to cover the bottom. Place a single layer of eggplant on in the casserole dish. Spoon a very thin layer of sauce over the eggplant. slices. Sprinkle with some cheese. Continue layering eggplant, sauce, and cheese in the dish until all eggplant slices are used. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and continue baking another 15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil leaves and serve with spaghetti.