So, I picked up some eggplants a couple of weeks ago, thinking I'd try something vegetable-based and relatively health. (This is right after I started reading In Defense of Food.) What I didn't realize, though, is that eggplant soaks up a TON of oil while being fried. I mean, waaay more than I actually wanted to eat. So while it turned out most deliciously, this should probably not be considered a health food.
One more thing to note. Supposedly, "male" eggplants have fewer seeds. Supposedly, you can identify "male" eggplants by looking for a dash-shaped indentation at the bottom of the eggplant where it connected to the stem. I looked for "male" eggplants at the store, but the results were inconclusive; they were just as seedy as every other eggplant I've ever purchased.
Comments & Modifications:
- I salted and drained my eggplant for only a half hour or so, but didn't notice it tasting bitter or anything. I think the shorter time was probably fine.
- I think it's important here to slice the eggplant thinly. I made this twice, and cut the slices a bit thicker the second time to reduce the amount of total frying time. When I sliced more thinly the eggplant got nice and crispy, which both Dan and I preferred.
- I used half regular (homemade) breadcrumbs and half panko. Yum.
- We were too hungry to let this sit in the oven for half an hour, so we layered it straight onto our dinner plates.
- Er, we didn't have any fresh basil, or fresh mozzarella, and I didn't use any parmesan either. Dan did use some regular mozzarella but I didn't bother.
- The main thing I learned from this recipe is that tomato sauce made from whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes from a can is easy, cheap, and really delicious. Seriously, it had such a fresh tomato-y taste even though I chose not to add the garlic and olive oil. I'm never ever going back to the jarred stuff, ew.
Verdict: This was deeeeelicious, but I don't think we'll be making it again. Too much oil, even if it is olive oil. I hear it's possible to make eggplant parm by baking instead of frying, and I hope to try it that way someday, but my expectations aren't that high.