Eggplant parmesan is one of those great comfort foods—a layered casserole with slices of eggplant. I used eggplants that were grown in our backyard.
2 large eggplants
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 bottle puréed San Marzano tomatoes
3 cups stewed tomatoes (grown in our backyard)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup unbleached flour
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup olive oil (plus a little extra to oil the sheet pans)
12 slices fresh mozzarella
Slice eggplants into 1/4-inch thick rounds. Lay the eggplant slices on a large platter. Sprinkle the eggplant lightly with salt and allow to sit for about 30 minutes.
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook gently. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the tomatoes purée and let simmer, uncovered for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Combine the Panko breadcrumbs with 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, and place in a shallow bowl. Put flour in a shallow bowl, the beaten eggs in another bowl, and the breadcrumb cheese mixture in another, in that order.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread a tablespoon of olive oil each over the bottom of two baking sheet pans. Rinse and pat dry the eggplant slices. Dredge the eggplant in flour, then beaten eggs, and then dredge in the Panko parmesan mixture. Place on oiled sheet pan and drizzle a little oil.
Place eggplant in the oven and cook for 15-18 minutes. Remove from oven, and let cool.
Spread some tomato sauce over the bottom of a casserole dish. Place the eggplant rounds in a single layer covering the sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish.
Layer half of the sliced mozzarella on top of the eggplant rounds. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
Place another layer of eggplant over the cheese. Spread more sauce over the eggplant. Layer the rest of the sliced mozzarella over the sauce.
Add the remaining eggplant in a single layer on top of the cheese. Top with the remaining sauce. Sprinkle with the rest of grated the grated Parmesan.
Bake uncovered at 350°F for 35 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.