I have loved eggplant parmigiana (or eggplant parmesan, if you prefer) since I was a child. Back then, it was a special treat when we went to the dentist. Yes, the dentist!
There was a restaurant near my dentist’s office called Pippo’s (which is now, sadly, gone), that made the best eggplant parmigiana I have ever tasted. Mom tried her best to get the recipe, but without much luck. Drat!
Still, it was an incentive to have good checkups, so we could go out to lunch afterward! I’m sure we were the only kids in the neighborhood who looked forward to going to the dentist!
The restaurant, naturally, made it in huge batches, but this eggplant parmesan recipe is perfectly sized for one person. It’s quick, easy, and delicious. You can put the whole thing together in about thirty minutes.
I did “cheat” and use sauce in a jar, rather than making my own, but so what. I do often make my own, but I didn’t have any handy, and I don’t feel the least bit guilty either.
When picking out your eggplant at the store, choose a light one (in weight, not color). The heavier ones have more seeds and are more likely to be bitter.
I know there is controversy about whether or not to salt the eggplant first. Some say it’s a must, to draw out the bitterness, and to cut down on the oil (eggplant does love to soak up oil). Others say don’t bother. I didn’t bother. One reason being that it takes time (and I was hungry), another being that I prefer less salt anyway.
Either way, just slice the eggplant very thin, dip it in egg, then flour (I used rice flour, but you can use the regular kind), and fry the slices in olive oil.
Top those with your favorite spaghetti sauce (I used a Robert Rothschild sauce, which was so thick I had to dilute it with some tomato sauce; Silver Palette sauces are good too), some fresh mozzarella, and pop it in the toaster oven to bake until the cheese melts. I had some tiny fresh mozzarella “pearls” so I used those. Fresh mozzarella slices are fine too.
Since it’s an eggplant parmesan for one recipe, you don’t have to heat up the whole oven (and the whole kitchen).
I served it with some fresh basil on top and a simple green leaf salad tossed with balsamic vinaigrette.
More Eggplant Recipes
Why bother schlepping for takeout when you can make this spicy, garlicky favorite right at home? It’s a lot easier than you think (tastes better too).
Pasta tossed with fresh eggplant, a slightly spicy tomato sauce, and topped with manchego cheese. Great when you’re in a hurry, as it takes under 30 minutes to make.
Luscious lamb, crisp cucumbers, creamy eggplant, and earthy spinach, all topped with an easy garlicky aioli.
Standard moussaka is a lot of work and steps. This one is just as tasty, but a lot easier to make. Flavored with spicy/warm cinnamon and nutmeg, tender eggplant, ground beef, and tomatoes.