Stefan has been talking for some time (read about 5 years) about how much he loves Eggplant Parmesan. He’d looked for a recipe a few times (especially last year when we had our own eggplants in the garden) but apparently always came up with nothing because he was looking for “eggplant parmegiana.” Then, the day before Valentine’s, I got an email from SouthernLiving.com with their own recipe for Eggplant Parmesan. Go figure. I knew I had to make it and completely surprised him with it on Thursday night when he got home. They also recommended a Roasted Tomato & Pepper Salad which turned out way better than I expected and wasn’t all that hard. The ingredients for the dressing seemed a bit strange but it just explodes with flavor when you try it. Unfortunately, I found the flavors were almost too strong with the main dish and it didn’t taste that great cold (I was heating and reheating things after hubby got home) so I probably would make them with something else next time around.
I was pretty surprised about how easy it turned out to be but I did have to make my own breadcrumbs since I had no idea where to start looking here. But that’s a simple enough task: Just take a few slices of bread and stick them in the oven. You can cut them into cubes first but if you get them nice and toasty, you won’t need them cubed. Then tear up or cut the bread so it fits into a mixer and pulverize the bread until they are fine crumbs. I tossed around a tablespoon of Italian seasoning in with 3 pieces of sandwich toast…next time I will use a lot more because otherwise the dish doesn’t have all that much flavor.
I freehanded the measurements for cheese and sauce, just throwing some in there until it was covered. They also suggest 1 large eggplant but my two regular-sized eggplants would have struggled to fill a rectangular 11×7 inch dish…I ended up with an oval dish which worked OK after starting with a casserole dish far too large (about twice that size) in the beginning.
We ate the rest as leftovers yesterday night and it was even better. The spices had more time to really permeate everything and we just had a baguette along with it which was really simple but tasty. I will definitely be making this again but with more spices from the get go!