Cast Iron Eggplant Parmesan

Cast Iron Eggplant Parmesan

We are big fans of eggplant around here, which is a good thing since it's doing so well in our garden.  (Yay for me!)  Eggplant Parmesan is also one of the only meatless meals my husband will eat without grumbling.  And a non-grumbling husband is always a plus.

There are so many different variations of this classic dish.  This version is fried in a cast iron skillet (don't you just love cast iron?) and then baked to hot, golden, bubbly perfection.  Don't have a cast iron skillet?  No worries.  See the notes section for alternative directions. 

*If you're looking for a non-fried version, you can check out this Eggplant Parmesan where the eggplant slices are baked in the oven.  It's just as tasty and saves on oil (and calories!).

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  • 1 eggplant, sliced into ¼ inch thick slices
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¾ cup italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • fresh tomato sauce (coming soon to The Two Bite Club), or your favorite marinara sauce
  • 6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • oil, for frying
  • fresh basil, chiffonaded 

    1. In a shallow dish, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, garlic powder, and oregano.  Dip the eggplant slices into the egg, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture, pressing the breadcrumbs onto the eggplant with your hands.
    2. Preheat your oven to 350°.
    3. Heat oil in cast iron skillet (about ¼ inch deep).  Fry the breaded eggplant slices in batches for 1-2 minutes per side until golden brown and place on a paper towel lined plate until all of the slices are fried.  Add more oil to the pan, if needed.
    4. Discard the oil from the pan.  Return the fried eggplant to the skillet and arrange in a circular pattern with the eggplant slices overlapping and curving up the sides of the pan.
    5. Top each slice with a tablespoon of marinara sauce (not too much so the eggplant gets soggy) and finish with shredded mozzarella.
    6. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to get brown spots.  Garnish with fresh basil.  Serve with extra marinara on the side, if desired.

      • You can salt your eggplant slices prior to frying to remove some of the bitterness from the eggplant.  Simply lay the slices out on a paper towel, sprinkle with salt, let sit for 10 minutes or so.  Flip and salt the other side, let sit for 10 more minutes, then rinse with water and pat dry.  I have skipped this step when I'm pressed for time and the eggplant tasted great.  (And just for the record, my mother never does this step.  Ever.)
      • You might need more breadcrumb mixture, depending on the size of your eggplant.  Keep the ingredients out, just in case, and mix up a little more if you need to.  ;)
      • If you don't have a cast iron skillet, fry your eggplant in any heavy bottomed skillet and then bake in a glass baking dish.

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