0 hours 20 mins
0 hours 40 mins
1 hours 0 mins
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1 Small – Medium eggplant
¼ Cup flour
¼ Panko breadcrumbs
¼ Seasoned dry breadcrumbs
1 Large egg
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper
¼ Cup grated Pecorino cheese
½ Cup shredded mozzarella cheese
½ Cup marinara sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a sheet pan with tin foil and heat in the heated oven for 10 minutes.
2. Set up a basic breading station. On one plate or in a shallow bowl, have the flour. Salt and pepper the flour and mix. In a second bowl, lightly beat the egg with a couple of tablespoons of water, salt and pepper. In a third bowl, mix the Panko and seasoned breadcrumbs.
4. Dredge the eggplant in the flour first (tap off excess), coat with egg mixture and let excess drip off, then coat in the panko mixture until all sides are evenly coated. Put on a plate or board while you do the remaining slices.
5. Take the sheet pan out of the oven and spray it with cooking spray. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and using a pastry brush, brush the pan to coat. Place the eggplant slices on the sheet pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. Spray them with cooking spray, and flip over. Cook for another 20 minutes until brown and crispy.
6. Take the pan out of the oven and turn the broiler to high. Top each eggplant slice with a tablespoon of sauce, some Pecorino cheese, and then the mozzarella. Place under the broiler for 1 – 2 minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Watch carefully so it doesn’t burn.
7. Remove from oven, plate and serve with extra sauce on the side.
NOTE: I’ve always loved eggplant Parmesan but lets face it, between the frying (eggplant soaks up oil like a sponge) and all the cheese, and layering, this is not typically a waist friendly dish. Not only that, after all the effort you put into making a nice crispy eggplant slice, that crunch gets lost in the cheese, sauce and baking process. I didn’t want to give up this dish just because I was watching the waistline. So this is my healthier choice for preparing the dish. So many of my friends actually like it better since that crust is maintained and there is a lot less guilt when eating it. It is lighter and just as tasty as the more traditional layered eggplant Parmesan dishes I ate growing up in New York. These crispy eggplant Parmesan slices for two will be in regular rotation at your house in no time.
Some tips when making this dish: I always peel my eggplant, but that is a personal preference. If you like it on, leave it. I also recommend salting the eggplant first. This removes any bitterness from the vegetable and I think, makes for a tastier dish. I make my own marinara sauce but you can always substitute a good store-bought marinara like Rao’s. I love cheese (who doesn’t). You can easily reduce the amount of cheese in the dish or substitute lighter version of the cheese. I even have a friend who doesn’t like cheese (GASP!!!) and she just tops it with sauce. This recipe is easily doubled or tripled based on the number of people you are feeding.
Preheating the baking sheet in the oven really helps get the eggplant crispy when it bakes. It is a little tip but one that has proven to be incredibly valuable when baking, rather than frying, foods. Don’t put the oil on the pan until AFTER it is heated. You don’t want it to burn in the oven.
To get started on the recipe, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cover a sheet pan with tin foil and heat in the heated oven for 10 minutes.