This is one of my favorite dishes to make once the temperatures allow for the oven to be used again. This delicious and simple dish of battered eggplant, sauce and cheese is an authentic Italian dish that could be great as an appetizer but makes a wonderful main dish. I usually serve it with a side salad and a small side of pasta and if I have it, a slice or two of some crusty bread. This time I used the fresh tomato sauce that I had just made, this was first time I have ever made this dish with fresh homemade sauce as compared to a jarred marinara and OH MY GOSH, that plus the beautiful eggplant I got at the farmers market this weekend, really put this over the top. This dish is officially amazing!
If you would rather fry the eggplant than bake it, just heat your olive oil in a large skillet. Follow the instructions below to dress the eggplant, add to the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes, turning once. Place on a paper towel-lined plate. Salt to taste.
My hubby Mark told me last night after we finished eating, “this is THE best Italian food that I have ever had”. That is quite the compliment.
Eggplant Parmesan (Gluten-Free)
adapted from The Gluten Free Italian Cookbook, by Mary Capone
1 large purple globed eggplant, thinly sliced
1/3 cup tapioca flour, plus more if needed
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs, plus more if needed
3 eggs, beaten
olive oil for drizzling
3 cups Fresh Chunky Tomato Sauce, or your favorite tomato sauce
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat over to 375°F. Set out a 9 x 9″ baking dish.
Slice eggplant into 1/4″ thick slices. Place slices in a single layer on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Blot moisture and excess salt from the eggplant.
On 2 separate place, add tapioca flour and bread crumbs. Lightly beat 3 eggs in a medium bowl.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Dust eggplant with tapioca, dip in egg, and on pat onto the plate of gluten-free bread crumbs. Place in a single layer on the baking sheets. Drizzle olive oil over the top, and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake in the 375°F oven until tender and slightly brown, about 15 minutes.
Ladle 1/4 cup of the sauce into the baking dish. Add eggplant pieces in a single layer. Add another ladle of sauce to the top, and sprinkle with about 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and 1/4 of the mozzarella and 1 tablespoon fresh basil. Repeat the process until all the ingredients are used up. Cover the top with the remaining sauce, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and decorate with fresh basil.
Bake in oven covered with a tightly fitted lid of foil for about 20-25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. Let set for 5 minutes.