Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Eggplant marinara (ish)

To date, I have not overcome my intense fear of deep frying at home. I could burn the house down, you guys. Or, on the other hand, I could master it so well that I exclusively eat deep fried foods for the rest of my life. I'm not sure which option would be more damaging.

So I stick with baking. Faced with a shiny fresh eggplant* last week, I cut it into thick slices and subjected it to the same treatment I use on zucchini. Egg wash, a bit of breading, oven baked. The eggplant comes out tender and meaty with a crisp exterior. Add a bit of marinara and some cheese (I used a burricotta, because that's what I had) and you're good to go.

eggplant marinara
{eggplant marinara}
Baked eggplant marinara (probably makes 4 servings, but maybe 2**)

1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp fresh oregano or rosemary (your choice)
2 cloves of garlic
Pinch of salt
Pepper to taste
1 medium eggplant
1 egg
~ 1 cup marinara, depending on your sauciness preference (my recipe is here)
4 oz mozzarella or burrata cheese (8 oz would make it more filling, I'm sure, with a higher cheese to eggplant ratio)

: Toss the bread crumbs, parmesan, herbs, garlic, pepper and salt in the food processor and blend it well. Alternatively, finely mince the garlic and use well grated Parmesan and just mix everything together. Put the mixture into a wide, shallow bowl and set aside.

: Slice the eggplant into nice thick slices (about 1 inch).

: Beat the egg in a wide, shallow dish. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg wash and then shake it off a bit and toss it in the breading. Lay the slices on a baking dish, making sure none of them touch.

: Bake in a 425F oven for about 30 - 40 minutes, turning just once. The exterior should be browned and crisp when finished. The interior should be tender but not mushy.

: Top each slice of eggplant with warm marinara and a bit of cheese. Dig in. 
eggplant, eaten
{eggplant, eaten}

* About eggplant - I know that people frequently complain of it being bitter, thus the salting and rinsing that you see in many recipes. I generally just take a small bite while it's still raw, to make sure it doesn't taste bitter to me and then I proceed. I've never had a bitter eggplant. Maybe I'm just not as sensitive to it? If you tend to dislike the bitterness of eggplant, you can always include a salting step right after you slice it. Just salt the slices well and set them aside for 20 minutes or so and then rinse them and pat them dry before proceeding. 

** It looked like four servings, but we both ended up eating seconds. To be fair, we'd gone on a run and we were both pretty hungry and I had very little cheese to top it with. If you had more cheese, or if you were less ravenous, or if you weren't too knackered to make a side dish, you'd probably get four servings out of it.


  1. Yum! I hate deep frying - this is a good alternative, and the presentation is lovely!

  2. Looks perfect...and I have a fear of frying too. I think we need to start a club.

  3. Wow this looks really good. Simple and healthy and awesome. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I am also afraid of deep frying-what to do with the oil afterward? I can't wait to try this because I love eggplant and I loooove burriccota!

  5. This looks sooooo good, and is one of my favorites!

  6. anything topped with marinara and cheese is a winner in my book. these look superb!

  7. I was browsing through my blog reader, saw this recipe and decided I HAD to try it for dinner. It looks quite yummy!

  8. delicious! I'm excited to try this. you always have fantastic recipes that seem to find their way into our weekly rotation. thanks for sharing!

  9. Really well done!!!!!!!! I love your pics!
    Kisses from Italy!

  10. Ha! Clearly, some of us just have eggplant on the brain. I knew I should have picked up more at the farmers' market at lunch...

  11. Agree x 10000 with the fear of deep frying. Even pan-frying makes me slightly nervous.

    I'm finding eggplant recipes everywhere these days, thanks for another idea!

  12. yum, this looks fantastic. and i completely agree about the fears of deep frying at home.

  13. I want to grab that slice of cheese right out of the picture.


Trying captchas this time - better or worse than having to log in to comment? Let me know! Sorry for all the hoops but the spam has been terrible lately!