My family and I really love eggplant, so it makes regular appearances at our table in all it’s various forms. This is my take on a classic Eggplant Parmigiana which is a great meatless dish, but it can have meat added in the sauce or in this case I added a couple layers of low fat turkey pepperoni. The pepperoni can be left out for a more vegetarian approach, you could also substitute Vegan Italian Sausage thinly sliced. We photographed the progress from fresh to frozen!
Start with a pair of Italian Eggplants. I always prefer to work with fresh ingredients. Slice them into equal widths, if you are concerned about consistency you can use a V-Slicer or mandoline
Prepare a dredging station: one bowl of seasoned flour, one bowl of egg wash (egg w/ half & half), and one bowl with seasoned cornmeal. Dip each slice into the bowl of seasoned flour to make sure each side gets and even dusting and pile your floured slices on a pizza pan to rest while you get everybody floured up. This next stage of the dredging process can be VERY messy… I apply the two handed dredging method: one hand for the egg bowl and the other hand for the cornmeal so there is no clumping on your hands. Dip each floured egg first into the egg wash and then drop it into the seasoned cornmeal. Using your dry hand scoop the cornmeal over the slice to coat thoroughly and lay it aside to rest while you finish the rest of your pile. It is important to allow the dredged eggplants to rest after all have been coated while you heat your oil because the coating is far more likely to cling in the cooking process.
I coated an iron skillet with about an inch of coconut oil to fry my eggplant slices. (You can use any oil you prefer, I choose to use Coconut and Olive Oils). Heat the oil until it starts to ripple and gradually add in a few slices 4-6 at a time depending on the sizes. Allow them to cook 30 seconds on each side. Then remove them from the oil and lay them in your baking dish on a layer of paper towels to drain. Place another layer of towels in between layers of slices when you start a second layer. This will absorb any excess oil.
Once all your slices have been cooked remove them to a cookie sheet and let the layering begin!!! Start by laying out a single layer of eggplant slices in your baking dish, sprinkle with diced tomatoes, spoon sauce onto each slice and spread it so it fills in the gaps too. Sprinkle a light layer of Mozzarella cheese and top with 24 Turkey pepperoni slices. Then repeat this process for the second layer. The third layer starts the same way with the final batch of eggplant slices, but then spoon on the remainder of your sauce and top with the rest of the Mozzarella and add the Parmesan Pecorino cheese to the top. Finish with a dusting of dried basil.
Put the pan into a pre-heated 350º oven for about 30 minutes. Allow it to rest about 10 minutes before serving.
I like to make enough so I can package up a few servings to freeze for future use.
- 1 C Flour seasoned with Salt, Lemon Pepper & Mrs. Dash No Salt
- 3 Large Eggs whipped with 2 Teaspoons Half and Half
- 1 C Corn Meal seasoned with Salt, Lemon Pepper & Mrs. Dash No Salt
- 2 Large Eggplants, sliced
- 1 Medium Tomato, diced
- 1 Jar Classico Tomato & Basil Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 ½ C Mozzarella Cheese
- ¼ C Parmesan Pecorino Cheese
- 1 T Dried Basil
- Optional: 48 pieces of Turkey Pepperoni
- Dredge both sides of each eggplant slice flour and set it aside. Once all the eggplant is coated in flour, dip each slice in the egg wash and then drop it into the cornmeal, scoop meal onto the top of the slice to cover the egg so you can flip it around to thoroughly coat it. Allow the fully coated eggplant slices to rest a few minutes while you heat your oil. I coated an iron skillet with about an inch of coconut oil. Heat the oil until it starts to ripple and gradually add in a few slices 4-6 at a time depending on the sizes. Allow them to cook 30 seconds on each side. Then remove them from the oil and lay them in your baking dish on a layer of paper towels to drain. Place another layer of towels in between layers of slices when you start a second layer.
- Once all the eggplant is cooked, transfer the slices to a pizza pan and remove all the paper towels — there will be a light coating of oil on the bottom of your baking dish – so no need to grease the pan. Layer 1 and 2 are identical: layer of breaded eggplant, diced tomatoes, and a spoonful of sauce onto each slice and spread it so it fills in the gaps, then a light layer of Mozzarella cheese and 24 Turkey pepperoni slices. Layer 3 is eggplant slices with all the rest of the sauce and then topped with the rest of the Mozzarella and add the Parmesan Pecorino cheese to the top. Finish with a dusting of dried basil.
- Bake for 30 minutes in a 350º degree oven. Place it on top of the stove and allow 10 minutes for it to set up before serving.
Makes 8 servings.
I scrambled up my excess egg wash (eggs, half & half) for Zazoo. She seemed to really approve of this practice! 😉