Want a perfect sandwich for the beach or a picnic? Bet eggplant parmesan wasn’t high on your list! I have fond memories of my mom making non-traditional sandwiches for Summer Sunday Outings to the beach. Zucchini and eggs, and yes, MY favorite, eggplant parm’. This sandwich satisfies your taste, your tummy and helps build strong bodies. Eggplant delivers on fiber, potassium, and nasunin, an anthoycyanin which gives eggplant skin its rich purple color. The anthocyanins plus lutein and zeaxanthin have antioxidant properties that protect against cell damage especially for heart and eye health. More antioxidant effects come from the lycopene in the tomato sauce. Topping off your eggplant with mozzarella cheese (low fat if you prefer) not only provides protein helping halt the hunger so you feel satiatied but also calcium to support bone health …making this one my superb-super-food sandwiches. Give it try ! Let me know if you like it!
Eggplant, One medium fresh
Breadcrumbs plain or seasoned, 2-3 cups
Eggs, 4-5 large eggs for medium to large eggplant
Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese, grated about ½ to 1 cup (¼ for egg mixture and ¼ -1/2 cup to sprinkle on top of the eggplant_
Fresh Mozzarella cheese, sliced thin (1/8 to ¼ inch)
Tomato sauce, plain marinara with a crushed red pepper flakes is preferred because it does not distract from the eggplant. (Meat sauce can also be used ). About 4-5 cups- depending on how much sauce you like.
Olive oil (Extra Virgin olive Oil or Regular). Canoloa oil or vegetable cooking spray optional.
Kitchen Tools: 1 mixing bowl, a cutting board, wax paper or dish for breadcrumbs, 9 x 11 or 12 x 13 baking pan, fork, spatula, knife. Vegetable oil .
- Wash eggplant. Cut off stem. Slice eggplant with the nutrient-rich skin on. Make slices about ¼ inch thick. Lay flat on paper towel or clean towel. Lay another paper towel on top and press down. to remove some excess water from the freshly cut eggplant.
- Heat about 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil in a non stick pan and slightly grill each side of the eggplant for 1-minute enought to slightly soften the outside for the breadcrumbs to stick. You can also lightly brush each slice with olive oil and grill each side in a hot pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Place breadcrumbs on a plate or wax paper and set aside.
- Beat 4 or 5 eggs in a bow with a fork, and add ¼ cup grated cheese and set aside.
- Lightly coat each side of the warm eggplant slice first in the breadcrumbs (the bread crumbs stick better when the eggplant is warm) and then into the egg mixture.
- Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in nonstick fry pan and place the prepared eggplant on each side (You can also place on baking sheet pre-sprayed with cooking oil. Bake one side for 10-minutes then flip over to bake the other side.
- Place the eggplant on paper towel to absorb excess oil from each slice.
- Cover the bottom of the baking pan with tomato sauce (just enough to coat the bottom), and sprinkle with some grated cheese. Place the slices of eggplant in a layer with a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each eggplant slice. Pour a little more sauce over the top and sprinkle more grated cheese. To fit more in one pan, I usually place stagger two layers of sliced eggplant so you see the cheese on top of each slice.
- Place in over at 350 degrees. Cook until cheese melts and sauce bubbles.
Serve on Italian Bread for a sandwich (tastes great even without the bread) and enjoy with a side salad!