Views / Dinner Express

The unusual contrast of Eggplant Parmesan


• 125 ml (1/2 cup) Italian bread crumbs

• 125 ml (1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated

• 175 ml (3/4 cup) walnut crumbs

• Salt and pepper, to taste

• 2 eggs, lightly beaten

• 125 ml (1/2 cup) all-purpose flour

• 1 large eggplant

• 125 g (4 oz) fresh mozzarella Sauce

• 500 ml (2 cups) passata (tomato puree)

• 2 Roma tomatoes, diced

• Handful basil leaves, cut in chiffonade (long, thin strips)

• 1 garlic clove, minced

• 30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil

• Fresh basil, for garnish

The walnut crumbs are a contrast to the soft, moist eggplant and gooey cheese rounds. Simple to prepare, it’s hard to stop at just one serving.

1. Heat oven to 200 C (400 F).

2. In bowl, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan  and walnuts. Season with salt, pepper.

3. Place eggs in another bowl and season with salt and pepper. Repeat for flour.

4. Slice eggplant crosswise into 8 to 10 1-cm (1/2-inch) thick rounds. Dip each slice into flour, followed by egg and last into walnut mix. Press firmly to achieve an even breading.

5. Lay eggplant slices onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake on the centre oven rack for 15 minutes.

6. Sauce: In saucepan, place passata, tomatoes, basil leaves, garlic and olive oil and gently simmer over low heat.

7. Spoon desired amount of sauce over each eggplant slice and top with fresh mozzarella.

8. Return eggplant to oven for 5 to 7 minutes until mozzarella has melted.

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