Main Dishes

Eggplant Parmigiana Stacks

This is as mouthwatering as it looks! It takes some time and preparation--but well worth the effort! Your eggplant rounds will be the star of the show here, not the marinara.

* 1 large eggplant
* 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
* 1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
* 3 1/2 cups prepared marinara
* 8 oz fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
* 1 cup sharp provolone, shredded
* 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded
* about 8 fresh basil leaves, sliced thinly
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1/2 cup whole milk
* 1 tsp oregano
* 1 tsp thyme
* 1 tbsp butter
* olive oil
* kosher salt
* pepper
Set up a cooling rack, or baking rack over paper towels. Peel skin from eggplant, if desired. Slice eggplant into 1/4-1/2 inch round and arrange in a single layer on rack. About 12-15 slices. Sprinkle eggplant with salt, well. Allow to rest and sweat for 1 hour. Lay out a few layers of paper towels and rinse eggplant slices under cold water and then use paper towels to dry well. Keep covered with paper towels until ready for next step. In a small bowl beat eggs and milk. Set aside. In a shallow dish--like a pie pan, combine the breadcrumbs, Panko, oregano and thyme. In another shallow dish, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Arrange the egg mixture, flour and breadcrumbs in an assembly line manner. In a casserole dish spoon about 2 cups of the marinara into the bottom, covering completely. Set aside. Begin breading the eggplant. Take one slice, dredge in the flour shake off the excess, then dredge in egg, and finally the breadcrumbs covering the entire round. Gently shake off any excess and return slice to rack. Repeat with all slices until all eggplant is breaded. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pour about a 1/4 inch of oil into a frying pan, add butter and heat over medium-medium-high heat. When butter has completely melted and started to brown, add breaded eggplant in single layer at a time. Do not crowd. Allow to brown about 2-3 minutes on each side. Keep an eye on oil temperature and lower heat if necessary. Remove browned eggplant to rack again and continue browning remaining slices until all are cooked. Arrange largest of slices of eggplant (4-5) into bottom of casserole pan. You will be building them up in descending size to make 4 - 5 "towers" depending on how many slices you yielded from the eggplant. (3 slices per tower). On top of eggplant slices add a spoon full of marinara, then add a slice of mozzarella cheese, then some of the Parmigiano and provolone, then a sprinkle of the basil and finally top with a slice of eggplant. Repeat until there are three layers of eggplant, marinara and cheeses and basil. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes. Serve immediately over a bed of angel hair pasta.


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