Eggplant Parmesan Deconstructed

I’m a girl with Italian in her blood.  I am from Chicago, after all.  And as any true Italian Chicago girl knows, there’s nothing better than eggplant Parmesan on a cold fall or winter day.  It’s warm and delicious in every way, but despite the fact that the main ingredient is a hard core veggie, the way eggplant parm is traditionally prepared turns this delicious dish into a heart attack on a plate.  Not to mention that it can take an entire day to make!

So I began thinking of other ways to enjoy eggplant Parmesan without having to work out extra hard the next day…and the day after that.  So here I give you my deconstructed eggplant parm recipe.  This eggplant is baked in the oven, rather than fried in oil…and dare I say the baked version is much better!  If you’re craving a traditional eggplant parm dish, you can also throw these bad boys onto the stove in a splash of extra virgin olive oil.  Cook them for about 5 minutes per side and you’re good to go.

I also omitted the pasta and turned this into more of an open-faced sandwich.  You can easily omit the bread, too and enjoy the baked eggplant as is.  It’s a hearty dish that takes a quarter of the cooking time of traditional eggplant Parmesan so it’s great for a weeknight meal.  We served ours with a quinoa mushroom risotto (yum!) and some delicious Three Floyd’s Broo-Doo beer!  This was a Chicago meal if there ever was one!

Eggplant Parm Deconstructed

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 eggplant, sliced crosswise on an angle, about ¼ inch thick
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 2 12-inch sub loaves
  • 1 lb. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced

Directions:

  1. In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and pepper.  In another shallow dish, whisk eggs and milk.
  2. Dip eggplant in egg mixture, then crumb mixture.  Transfer to a greased baking sheet.
  3. Once all your eggplant is done, bake it in a 450 degree oven for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.   Flip eggplant half way through so it browns on both sides.
  4. Lay your bread out open faced on the plate.  Top bread with cheese slices and top cheese with warm marinara sauce (we made our own sauce from tomatoes and seasoning, but any ol’ sauce will do).  The warm sauce will help melt the cheese.
  5. Top sauce with cooked eggplant.  You could top your eggplant with more sauce, if desired.

Every Monday is a “Reci-bee” post, where I share my favorite recipes, recipe collections, and cooking and baking hints and tips. 

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