FEATURES:  

Eggplant Parmesan with a Kick

(To FEB or not to FEB*?…)

SERVES: 4
When you’re craving comfort food, we’ve got you covered with this easy Eggplant Parmesan recipe! We’ve paired it with our Fire Roasted Red Pepper Ajvar (we prefer the hot variety, but mild works too). Before preparing eggplant parm, one must first ask oneself ‘to FEB, or not to FEB?’, a very profound question indeed. Coating in flour, egg, and breadcrumbs gives the eggplant a nice crunch. We show you how to prepare it both ways, so you can tailor it to your preference and mood!
INGREDIENTS
- 1 large eggplant
- Salt
- Pepper
- Wildfare Extra Virgin Olive Oil - enough to coat the bottom of a skillet and/or grill pan
- 1 jar Wildfare Fire Roasted Red Pepper Ajvar (Hot or Mild)
- 1/2 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
- 6 oz. Provolone, shredded
- 6 oz. Mozzarella, shredded
- 3 oz. Parmesan, grated
If you decide to FEB (*dredge the Eggplant in Flour, Eggs, and Bread Crumbs) you will also need:
- 4 T. Flour, seasoned with Salt and Pepper
- 3 Eggs, well beaten, seasoned with Salt and Pepper
- 1.5 C. Panko, seasoned with Salt and Pepper
PREPARATION
1
The first thing you need to decide is "To FEB or not to FEB?" (*FEB is the acronym for a standard breading station - Flour, Eggs, Bread Crumbs)
2
Lightly coat a 9" x 13" baking dish with olive oil. Set aside.
3
If you prefer your eggplant to have a crispy coating, set up your breading station. Three pie tins or shallow baking dishes work well for holding the three components - Flour, Eggs, Bread Crumbs.
4
Cut the eggplant into 1" rounds (skin can be peeled if that’s your preference) and soak submerged in salted water for an hour (this makes it less bitter tasting).Rinse and pat dry. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
To FEB...
6
Take each eggplant slice through the breading station. Coat thoroughly in flour, shaking off excess. Coat thoroughly in beaten egg, shaking off excess. Coat thoroughly in Panko bread crumbs, pressing down on both sides for maximum adherence and crunch.
7
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Shallow fry the eggplant slices until they are golden brown and delicious. Place on a wire rack. This step is done in batches, adding olive oil to the pan as needed.
8
Arrange eggplant slices in one layer in the baking dish. Combine the pasta sauce and the Wildfare Fire Roasted Red Pepper Ajvar and spoon over the top of each slice taking care not to let it run down the sides of the eggplant and onto the baking dish if you want to retain the crispy crunch you have created. Place in the 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
9
Remove from oven. Distribute the provolone, mozzarella, and parmesan on top of each slice of sauced eggplant. Place back into the oven until the cheese is melted to your desired level - from just melted to bubbly and browned from a little time under the broiler.
10
Serve with extra ajvar (warmed) on the side for dipping should you desire.
Not to FEB...
6
Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush with olive oil. Grill the eggplant slices until they develop grill marks (extra points for the 45 degree turn that results in a beautiful diamond grill pattern). Place on a wire rack. This step is done in batches, adding olive oil as needed.
7
Combine the pasta sauce and Wildfare Fire Roasted Red Pepper Ajvar and spoon on the bottom of the baking dish in a thin layer. Arrange eggplant slices in the baking dish. They can overlap. Spoon more sauce over the eggplant. Place in the 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
8
Remove from oven. Distribute the provolone, mozzarella, and parmesan evenly on top of the sauced eggplant. Place back into the oven until the cheese is melted to your desired level - from just melted to bubbly and browned from a little time under the broiler.
9
In either case, enjoy with a fresh green salad, toasted crusty bread, and butter, and a favorite red wine!

"To FEB or not to FEB...?" That is a question you must answer for yourself.
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