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Eggplant Parmesan
(Serves 4-6)
Eggplant Parmesan
Eggplant Parmesan is a traditional Italian dish consisting of breaded and fried eggplant slices that are layered with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese, and mozzarella and baked.  If you prefer not to fry the eggplant, we also have provided you with directions on how to grill or bake the eggplant slices.
Eggplant Parmigiana

2 medium-size eggplants
6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Flour for dredging
Salt and pepper
2 cups Italian-flavored breadcrumbs
Olive oil
2 cups prepared Traditional Tomato Sauce
1/2 to 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees  F.

Slice the eggplants into 1/4-inch rounds.  Place the beaten eggs in a shallow rimmed dish.  Set out a plate of flour and a plate of bread crumbs.  Season the flour with salt and pepper.  Blend 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese into the bread crumbs.  Lightly flour the eggplant slices, shaking off any excess.  Dip into the eggs, then the bread crumbs.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Fry the eggplant in batches, turning them when the edges brown.  Transfer the cooked eggplant to a paper-towel lined plate.

Layer the ingredients in a 9 x 15 x 2-inch baking dish.
Begin by spreading some of the tomato sauce on the bottom.  Add an overlapping layer of eggplant.  Follow with more sauce, some Parmesan cheese, and some mozzarella.  Add another layer of eggplant and continue the same layering.  End with a layer of sauce and a handful of mozzarella.

Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake another 15-20 minutes until the cheese begins to brown.  Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

If you prefer not to fry the eggplant, you can make it with grilled or baked slices.  You may choose to bread the slices or simply coat them with oil.

To bake the eggplant slices:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Brush 2 large baking sheets with oil.
Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with oil.  Coat the slices with the bread crumb and Parmesan mixture.  Arrange the slices in a single layer on the baking sheets.  Bake until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Turn the slices with a spatula.  Bake until the second side is browned and the slices are tender, about 10 more minutes.

To grill the eggplant slices:
Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with oil.  Place on a outdoor or stove top grill, and cook until both sides are browned and tender.
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If you want to make lasagna or  eggplant parmesan ahead of time and freeze it, you should assemble the dish and freeze it before baking.  Cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap, and then aluminum foil.  It will keep in the freezer for about 1 month.  Ideally, you should thaw the dish before baking. If it's still frozen, start baking it at a lower temperature, about 300 degrees F., then turn up the heat once it's warmed through. You can test the internal temperature by sticking a knife in the  center and touching the knife to see if it's hot when you pull it out.
Some useful food words or terms that you may find in
Italian recipes, while dining at an Italian restaurant, or traveling in Italy.
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