Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan

Deconstructed eggplant Parmesan.

Classic eggplant Parmesan is smothered in cheese and sauce and baked like a casserole. While that approach certainly makes for a warm, comforting dish, this deconstructed version is lighter and sure to win over the hearts of eggplant-haters with its crispiness from the fried eggplant slices.

Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan

Serves | 4 to 6 |

Marinara Sauce

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 28-oz cans whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 1 cup sweet Marsala wine
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, rough chopped

Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 2 cups dried Italian-flavor bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for garnish
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 small eggplants, sliced ½-inch thick
  • marinara sauce, for garnish (recipe follows)
  • fresh parsley, for garnish

| Preparation – Marinara Sauce | In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add oil and garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, reducing heat if garlic starts to brown. Stir in tomatoes and wine; increase heat to medium high and bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and cook until tomatoes release their oil, stirring occasionally, 20 to 25 minutes. Add salt and parsley; cook for 5 to 10 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

| Preparation – Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan | Preheat oven to 425°F and line two baking sheets with paper towel. In a bowl, whisk eggs and ½ teaspoon salt together. In a separate bowl, combine bread crumbs, cheese, ½ teaspoon salt and pepper.

Set skillet with oil over medium high heat. With each slice of eggplant, dip in egg mixture and then coat with bread crumb mixture. Carefully slip into hot oil and cook until browned on one side. Be sure not to crowd pan with eggplant slices; each slice should lay flat. Flip and cook until browned on opposite side. Remove from pan and set on baking sheet (do not stack fried eggplant). Once all eggplant slices have been fried, remove paper towel from baking sheets, redistribute eggplant slices and place baking sheets in oven, one on top rack and one on bottom rack; bake for 5 minutes. Switch pans to opposite rack, turn pans and cook for another 4 minutes, until eggplant is crispy.

| To Serve | Add two or three eggplant slices to each plate, spoon marinara sauce over the top and garnish with cheese and parsley. Serve hot.

GET HANDS-ON! Join Feast Magazine and Schnucks Cooks Cooking School at 6pm on Wed., Jan. 15 at the Des Peres, Missouri, location to make the dishes on this month’s menu. Tickets are just $45 for a night of cooking, dining and wine. RSVP nourish.schnucks.com/web-ext/cooking-school or call 314.909.1704.

MAKE THE MEAL

  • Bagna Càuda
  • Italian Chopped Salad
  • Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan
  • Tiramisù

LEARN MORE: In this class, you’ll learn how to treat eggplant well. To peel or not to peel, salt or not salt – those are the questions. You’ll also become a pro at whipping up a beautiful antipasto platter fit for myriad occasions.