Prep Time: 1 Hour
Yields: 8-10 Servings
Eggplant is one of the truly underrated culinary joys. The simple elegance of fresh vegetables and herbs crowned with grated Parmesan then baked must be tasted to be understood.
3 large eggplants
2 and 1/2 cups fresh grated Parmesan cheese, divided
vegetable oil for deep frying
3 cups seasoned Italian bread crumbs
salt and black pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste
4 whole eggs, whipped
2 cups shredded Romano cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
2 quarts Guy Disalvo's Marinara Sauce (see recipe), heated
3/4 cup chopped basil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a cast iron pot or home style electric fryer, such as a FryDaddy, heat enough oil for deep frying to 365 degrees F. Using a vegetable peeler, peel eggplant then cut lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices and set aside. NOTE: You should have 18-20 slices of eggplant. In a shallow dish, mix together bread crumbs and 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese. Season mixture to taste with salt, pepper and granulated garlic then set aside. Dip eggplant slices into whipped eggs and then press into bread crumb mixture. Deep-fry a few at a time until golden brown and floating. Remove from oil and set aside to drain. Continue frying until all eggplant slices are finished then set aside. In a small bowl, combine remaining Parmesan cheese, Romano and Mozzarella then set aside. In a 8" x 11.5" glass baking dish, add 1 cup hot marinara sauce and spread evenly over bottom of dish. Using tongs, dip 1 slice fried eggplant into marinara sauce and place in the bottom of baking dish. Continue dipping eggplant until a layer covers the bottom of the dish. Top with cheese mixture and basil leaves. Continue forming layers until all ingredients are used, ending with cheese. Bake in oven 30-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before serving.