The Bosslady has been testing recipes for her upcoming cookbook, and on the menu is her classic Italian eggplant parmigiano. It was one of her best-selling dishes at the restaurant, and I was so excited to finally watch her create such a masterpiece!
It turns out the secret to a perfect, classic eggplant parmesan is slicing the eggplant super-thin, lightly (I mean lightly- as little as possible!!) coating the strips in flour, and frying them in batches. The purpose coating them lightly in flour is to remove any excess moisture, so they really crispy up in the pan. It is not to get a breaded effect, like you'll find with American eggplant/zucchini parmesan recipes.
I swapped eggplant for zucchini- just for a change of pace! You could easily make the same recipe with sliced eggplant, or even a combination of eggplant, zucchini, and squash. The layers in this dish are thin, which creates a delicious textural element to the dish. It's meaty and rich without the guilt. I mean let's face it- you're basically just eating a big plate of zucchini and sauce. And cheese.
What You'll Need
- 1.65 lbs of zucchini (3 small)
- 2.5 cups of Marinara Sauce (we used 1 jar of Donatella's Marinara Sauce)
- 1/8 cup of whole wheat or all purpose flour
- canola or corn oil for frying
- 1.5 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Slice the zucchini into the thinest strips possible- we're talking 1 cm thick! Pour 1/8 cup of flour into a shallow pan, and dredge each strip into the flour. Knock off as much flour as possible, and set aside.
Heat up 1 cup of canola or corn oil on medium-high heat on the stove. Test the oil by sprinkling a bit of flour into the pan and when it instantly sizzles, start frying the strips in batches. Don't over crowd the pan! Let each strip fry about 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set onto a paper-towel lined sheet tray. Repeat with the rest of the zucchini strips.
Start with a small splash of sauce a pan, then layer fried zucchini strips, 1/4 cup of sauce, and a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers ending with the cheese.
Bake in the oven at 350F for 20 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbling. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.