History of the Eggplant Parmesan: Eggplant Parmesan, also known as Melanzane alla Parmigiana, originated in the Campania region of Italy. It is a classic Italian dish made of slices of eggplant that are breaded, fried, and layered with tomato sauce and cheese, then baked in the oven. However, this recipe allows you to enjoy the same delicious flavors while using a healthier baking method instead of frying.
Tips and Tricks for Eggplant Parmesan Recipe:
- Be sure to slice the eggplant thinly and evenly for the best results.
- Use Italian seasoned bread crumbs for extra flavor.
- To make it even healthier, try using whole wheat bread crumbs instead of regular ones.
- For a gluten-free option, use gluten-free bread crumbs instead.
- You can add sliced or chopped vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini to make the dish more colorful and nutritious.
- If you prefer a meaty version, you can add cooked ground beef, sausage, or turkey to the tomato sauce layer.
Tips for presenting the dish: Eggplant Parmesan is a hearty and satisfying dish that can be served as a main course or as a side dish. To make it more impressive, garnish the top with fresh basil leaves, grated Parmesan cheese, or chopped parsley. You can also serve it with a side salad, garlic bread, or pasta noodles. This dish is perfect for a family dinner or a potluck party, and it's sure to please everyone's taste buds!
What to Serve With Eggplant Parmesan
Oven-baked eggplant Parmesan is a hearty Italian classic that pairs well with a range of side dishes. Try serving it with a bright broccoli salad to balance the richness of the dish or a spicy bruschetta to turn up the heat.
Choose creamy garlic soup for a wow-worthy addition to eggplant Parmesan, or go with a classic, crusty bread for sopping up all of the irresistible sauce.
Nicole's Top Eggplant Parmesan Tips
Ready to make restaurant-worthy eggplant parm at home? Culinary producer Nicole McLaughlin (a.k.a. NicoleMcMom) is here to share her favorite tips and tricks for the crispiest, crunchiest, most irresistible eggplant parmesan ever:
В· Nicole likes to leave a little skin on her eggplant for color and texture вЂ” she uses a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off in stripes. Make sure you don't peel too early, as eggplant flesh will quickly oxidize and turn brown.В· Eggplants are quite watery, so Nicole salts her slices before frying to keep them nice and crisp. Sprinkle a generous amount of salt over the eggplant slices to draw out the moisture, then wipe it away when it's time to fry.В· When you're baking the coated eggplant slices, it doesn't hurt to turn on the broiler at the end. High heat ensures the crispiest texture.В· Layer your ingredients strategically so the eggplant slices stay crispy and crunchy. Use a thin layer of sauce on the bottom and use the cheese as a barrier between layers to prevent sogginess.
How to Store Eggplant Parmesan
Baked eggplant Parmesan lasts three to five days in the refrigerator if stored properly. Store it in an airtight container for best results. To reheat, place the baking pan or leftover portion in a preheated oven and cook until the edges bubble.
Can You Freeze Eggplant Parmesan?
Yes, cooked eggplant Parmesan can be frozen for up to three months. Store in a well-sealed, freezer-safe baking pan or freezer bags. Be aware that the quality of the leftovers will fall over time вЂ” eggplant is highly absorbent and is best enjoyed the same day it's baked.