Monday, June 15, 2009

Eggplant Parmesan



I've never eaten eggplant before. Honestly, its always creeped me out a little. I mean, its big and its purple... its like the Barney of vegetables. Who the heck wants to eat a Barney pod? But I am on a quest to eat more vegetables, and it was on sale for .88 this week. Clearly, the universe and eggplants were conspiring against me. I bought the eggplant.

I brought it home along with my other veggies, and carefully placed it on the counter. It sat there for a day or two while I contemplated what to do with it. I kept a close eye on it, lest it hatch and unleash a mini Barney upon my home. (A ninja could totally take out a mini Barney, by the way, its just that it would probably make a big mess in the process and I already have enough to clean up with the Ninja pups and Ninja Hubz). Anyway, I finally decided that just about anything tastes good fried, so I'd go with a classic eggplant parmesan.

After a little research, here's what I ended up doing:

I peeled and sliced the eggplant into about 3/8 inch slices. I salted each slice heavily, and let it sit for 30 minutes.

While they were resting, I mixed up about 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 3 Tbs parmesan/romano cheese, and 1 Tbs Italian seasoning. In another bowl, I beat 2 eggs. I put about 4 Tbs of olive oil in a frying pan and heated it up.

At the end of 30 minutes, I thoroughly rinsed each slice to remove all the salt. Then I dipped each slice in the egg, then the bread crumb mixture to coat both sides, and put it into hot oil. Fried them for a couple of minutes on each side until they were golden brown, drained them on a paper towel for a few minutes, and put them into a 9x13 baking dish. I put a couple spoonfuls of jarred spaghetti sauce and a sprinkle of mozzerella cheese on each slice, and baked at 350 for about 10-15 minutes (just long enough to heat the sauce and melt the cheese).

You know what? Eggplant doesn't have a lot flavor. Really, it was actually pretty good, but it tasted pretty much like spaghetti sauce on fried breadcrumbs. Nothing wrong with that. I kind of expected a little something more, but I'm not overly disappointed. I doubt this will make it into my normal meal rotation as it was actually a little more work than I prefer, but I will probably make it again.

The REALLY good part about this dish is the cost. It definitely scores high on the frugal scale when you can get everything on sale:
  • Eggplant: .88
  • 1/2 jar spaghetti sauce: .25
  • 2 oz. Mozzerella cheese: .35
  • Breadcrumbs, spices, oil: pennies
  • 2 eggs: .17
I served it with an inexpensive garden salad, and .35 worth of french bread.

Eggplant Parmesan
  • 1 eggplant
  • salt
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbs parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbs italian seasoning
  • 4 Tbs cooking oil
  • 1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 2 oz. Mozzerella cheese
  1. Peel and slice the eggplant into about 3/8 inch slices.
  2. Salt each slice heavily, and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350
  4. Rinse each eggplant slice in cold water, removing ALL the salt.
  5. In a bowl, beat the two eggs.
  6. In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, and italian seasoning.
  7. Heat the oil in a skillet.
  8. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg, then the breadcrumb mixture, then place in the skillet.
  9. Fry the eggplant on each side until crispy and golden.
  10. Drain eggplant on paper towel for a few minutes.
  11. Place eggplant slices in a 9x13 baking dish.
  12. Top each slice with a couple of spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce and sprinkle with mozzerella.
  13. Bake until sauce is warm and cheese is melted (10-15 minutes).
Makes 2 servings

Check out all kinds of great and frugal recipes at:
The $5 Dinner Challenge
Tasty Tuesday
Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

10 comments:

Monica said...

I've always wanted to try eggplant too and this recipe sounds good!Thanks for sharing!

Beach House Dreamer said...

Oh, I had this many times and love it. Good alternative to pasta. I also grill it sometimes and use it in salad.

Jen - Balancing Beauty and Bedlam said...

This is so funny because this is almost my exact post for Tasty Tuesday next week (although I might do salad instead for summer). Same here...never had Eggplant, had to research it, didn't know what I thought of it, but came to the same conclusion as you. :)

foxxy said...

I've never had eggplant before. I don't even know what it taste like. I should try it sometime though.

Melissa said...

Eggplant parm is one of my favorites. The breaded slices can be oven-fried or just baked, which saves some work.

I don't think eggplant has much nutrition, either, but its soluble fiber is said to help the body clear out cholesterol. And if you leave the skin on, you get extra fiber and some healthy cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

Brenda said...

I have never cooked with eggplant but I should really give it a try!

newlyweds said...

Way to go for trying your eggplant, and your exactly right eggplant basically takes on the flavors its cooked with. So its extremely versatile. I love to through it in soups, pasta dishes, etc. Its great!

Lisa@BlessedwithGrace said...

Thanks for the recipe and linking to TMTT.

Savings Ninja said...

Thank you all for visiting!

Melissa - good to know about the skin, I wasn't sure if it was edible or not. And now that I know I like eggplant, I think next time I will try baking it (sounds easier and healthier).

The Desperate Cook said...

Yummy, that is all I can say....Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorites

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