Growing up, I never enjoyed eggplant (along with a million other vegetables that children think are ‘gross.’) My mother loved this dish though, (and I thought she was just nuts,) however, I would steal a bite now and again. I’ve never ordered it from a restaurant because I assumed this vegetable had been deep-fried, and therefore unhealthy. This is a slightly healthier version you can make a home.
Begin by slicing eggplant to ½ inch thick slices, then bread. While breading, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large sauce pan.
Bread the Vegetable:
1- Dredge eggplant in flour. Shake off excess.
2 – Dip floured Eggplant into beaten egg and allow to drip off.
3 – Cover both sides of eggplant in breading (this is an Italian Panko Mixture.)
Add coated eggplant to the greased, medium-high pan. Allow to cook until light brown and flip. Cook the other side to the same color. (The eggplant should be slightly tender on the inside) Complete this in batched and lay on paper towel until all are completed.
(Note: I attempted this with whole Portobello mushrooms horizontally, which didn’t work ideally. However, if I did it again, I would recommend slicing them vertically about the same ½ inch thick. The flavor of the ‘failed’ pieces were amazing, so go ahead and try something new!)
In baking dish, place a thin layer of marinara sauce at the bottom of the dish. (you can see the recipes I used to make this Arrabbiata sauce here: Whole Wheat Gnudi in Arrabbiata Sauce)
Layer your eggplant so that it lightly overlaps. Cover with about 2 cups of marinara sauce.
Top eggplant and marinara with mozzarella cheese. (I used this locally made cheese, yum!)
Bake at 350 degrees until melted and bubbly (about 15-20 minutes.)
Serve over whole wheat spaghetti!