2 large eggplants (about 2 1/2 pounds total)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup dry, fine breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cups tomato sauce, divided
3 cups (about 12 ounces), shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
Begin by preheating the oven to 35o degrees and making sure there is a rack directly in the middle of the oven.
Next, begin to prepare the eggplant. Trim the stems of the eggplant first then slice it into rounds that are approximately 1/4 inch thick. Lay the rounds on a wire rack (a cookie drying rack will work) over a baking sheet and sprinkle both sides with the salt. Allow the rounds to sit on the wire rack for an hour. In the meantime, set up the ingredients for the dredging, which is when the eggplant will be coated in the breadcrumb mixture.
In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and one cup of parmesan cheese. In a separate small bowl, add the flour. Then in another small bowl, add the eggs and whisk them together. Arrange the bowls for the coating process. Arrange the bowls in the order of flour, egg, then breadcrumb and cheese mixture.
To prepare the eggplants to be breaded, rinse the salt off them and pat them dry with paper towels. Then, to bread them, dip each eggplant round completely in the flour, then the egg, and finally in the breadcrumb and cheese mixture. Place the breaded rounds back on the rack and repeat the process for all the rounds.
To fry the eggplant, heat oil in a large skillet (one with a flat bottom is better) over medium-high heat until it begins to simmer. Then, fry the slices four at a time to avoid crowding the pan. Fry the eggplant until they are golden-brown, approximately three to five minutes per side. Then, place each batch of the cooked eggplant back on the rack.
Finally, to prepare the casserole, pour 1/2 cup of the tomato sauce into an 8×8-inch baking dish and spread it evenly over the dish. Then place 1/3 of the eggplant rounds in an even layer over the sauce and sprinkle one cup of mozzarella over it. Then top that with an additional cup of sauce in an even layer. Repeat the process for two more layers with the remaining sauce, eggplant, and mozzarella. Sprinkle the last layer with the remaining parmesan cheese.
Bake the eggplant Parmesan for approximately 35 minutes; until the eggplant is tender and the cheese is melted and bubbly.
This eggplant parmesan is easy and doesn’t require many ingredients, but just takes a little time to assemble. To cut down on the total time, you can salt and rinse the eggplant the night before or a few hours before, and simply store it in an airtight container in the fridge until you’re ready to use them. If you have leftovers, you can store them for up to four days in an airtight container in the fridge.