Crispy oven baked goodness

Oven Baked Eggplant Parmesan

I honestly believe that this eggplant parmesan is better than other options out there.  Especially considering that, instead of frying, it is baked in the oven.  When cooking with eggplant, you have the option to remove the skin or keep it on.  Sometimes, keeping it on will retain some moisture which is why for this particular dish, I opt to remove the skin. When frying in a pan, I’d be more inclined to stick with the skin.

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Ingredients

1 large Eggplant

1 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs

Mayonaise (not pictured)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheee

Mozzarella cheese for topping

Salt and pepper to taste

Other Items

Wire rack

Ziploc bag

How to

Preheat your oven to 350°F

Begin by peeling your eggplant and slicing it into 1/2 inch pieces.  Stack the pieces one on top of the other.

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You’re probably thinking WHY, Piper? Why should I stack them? Isn’t it just as easy to put them in a line? Sure, but the stacking makes this next step a little easier.  Grab your mayo and spread a layer on each piece – bottom and top – then place the slices back in your stack.  Once you have the bottoms and tops coated, smear the mayo on the sides, as you would ice a cake.  The mayo will help the crumbs stick, but also gives the dish a unique flavor.  I only use Hellman’s mayonnaise and only recommend this type.  Its the only mayo, in my opinion.

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Put both types of your breadcrumbs into a ziploc bag with the parmesan cheese, salt and pepper.  One or two pieces at a time, place your slices in the bag, seal the bag and shake until the pieces are coated with crumbs.  Repeat until all pieces are coated.

Lay your eggplant slices on a wire rack.  If you don’t have a wire rack for baking, you can certainly use a cookie sheet.

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The wire rack allows the heat to circulate all around the eggplant, so that each piece will become nice and crispy.  Put the eggplant slices in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Flip them and bake an additional 20 minutes.

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Serve along side a salad, with pasta, rice or some sautéed greens.  Top with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.  No doubt, this is a wonderful eggplant parmesan.

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