Swap Ready

Basil Eggplant Parmesan

 

Basil-Eggplant-Parmesan

If tomato and basil were a couple, then eggplant would be the other woman. They’re so delicious on the plate together that I never make an eggplant dish without basil. They’re the perfect summer fling.

Last summer I bought several pounds of eggplant in the grocery store on a whim when I saw a great deal. Then realized a day or two later that I’d ordered another few pounds from my veggie co-op. And my husband isn’t crazy about eggplant. Oops. :) That is when I realized the beauty of freezing eggplant parmesan. If you get all of the messy frying part ouf of the way on a cooking day (when you’re making a big mess anyway), it is a snap to bake on serving day. And just for the record, even though my hubby isn’t a fan, he is always tantalized by the smell, and is convinced to try a few bites. Better than nothing, right?

If you’re in hurry, you can just do the breading and frying step and freeze the eggplant in ziplock bags. Then you just have to add your sauce, cheese and basil (and pasta if desired). Another great adaptation is to add a little meat to your pasta sauce to add a little protein to the meal. Assuming you’re on the whole food bandwagon, you will probably want to use homemade breadcrumbs. Even the plain store-bought ones have about 20 ingredients! One last tip: if you don’t have a garden of any sort, at least buy a few basil plants and keep them in pot in a sunny window or a sunny spot on your porch. They are easy to grow and you will save loads of money. The plant costs about as much as one of the basil packages, but it keeps growing and giving you more basil until cooler weather sets in!

How anyone can resist this, I don’t know.

Basil Eggplant Parmesan

Author/Source:

Kim @ onceamonthmeals.com

Whole foodies, you definitely want to opt for homemade breadcrumbs.

Ingredients:

  • 12 cups eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds (about 2 medium eggplant)
  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1.75 cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 0.25 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese (for breading)
  • 0.25 cups olive oil
  • 6 cups Marinara sauce
  • 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 0.5 cups shredded Parmesan cheese (for layering)
  • 1 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
  • cooked pasta for serving

Directions:

Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Set aside. {Some sources recommend salting eggplant and letting it sit to remove excess liquid or bitterness, but I do not feel like this step is necessary. You can make your own call, but just realize it is going to add about an hour to your cooking time!}
Beat eggs in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, whisk together breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese (for breading). Heat oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Dredge eggplant slices in egg, then cover in breadcrumbs. Cook it in hot oil 2-4 minutes each side until breading is crisp and eggplant is cooked. Remove to a paper towel. Repeat until all of the eggplant slices are cooked.
Measure out one quarter of marinara sauce pour into the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish (or divide between the bottom of two 8 x 8 baking pans) Lay eggplant slices in a single layer and cover with another 1/4 of marinara sauce. Sprinkle with 1/3 mozzarella cheese, 1/3 Parmesan cheese (for layering), and 1/3 basil leaves. Repeat layers twice {you should end with sauce, cheese and basil on top}. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes until sauce and cheese are bubbling. Serve over hot cooked pasta.

Freeze the dish before baking. Or if you want, just freeze the fried eggplant in ziplock bags and add the remaining ingredients on serving day.

Freezing Directions:

Cover with foil and freeze before baking. To serve, thaw and bake as directed above.

Servings: 8

 

**conversion chart image provided by Erik Spiekermann

6 Responses to “Basil Eggplant Parmesan”

  1. Annette says:

    I like to grill the eggplant (brush with olive oil)for eggplant parm and rollatini. Let it cool somewhat and proceed as usual. I don’t peel the eggplant when I do this. Tastes great and much healthier. Also good for eggplant lasagna using 1/4″ planks of grilled eggplant instead of the lasagna noodles…….

  2. Michelle says:

    Eggplant Parmesan does these ingredients only make 1 freezer container.

    • kim says:

      You can make either one 13 x 9 or two 8 x 8 pans. For our big cooking days, we assume you will make two 8 x 8 pans so that you can have two meals (4 servings each.)

  3. Dianne Lombardo says:

    Hi Kim!
    I love your egg plant parm recipe!
    I have made egg plant parm for years and leared a new tip last year that I absolutely love and I hope you will too.
    I no longer “fry” the egg plant rounds. I dip them in egg then the bread crumbs and put them on a cookie sheet. I broil them in the oven till golden then flip and do the other side. No oil – no fat – no mess! They too can be frozen for future use. You can do so many more at a time that way also. Patty Preim taught me and I am grateful!
    Enjoy!

  4. Jill Naame says:

    Kim, This recipe looks wonderful! I have a fresh herbal garden this year, with plenty of fresh basil … been looking for recipes for my herbs. I will try this one this weekend! Keep writing … enjoy your posts and recipes. Love, Jill Naame (AKA Litchendorf) :-)

Leave a Reply

After hitting submit your comment will await moderation.