Baked eggplant, stacked up with tomato sauce and a mountain of cheese. This tower of eggplant parmesan is guaranteed to make a festive appetizer or light meal that your friends and family will remember!
- 4 baby eggplant, cut into ⅓-inch slices
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon canola oil or cooking spray
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
- ½ cup ground parmesan cheese
- ½ cup fresh slivered basil
Bread & Bake the Eggplant:
- Preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Mix panko with basil and ½ teaspoon salt into shallow bowl. Pour milk into a separate shallow bowl.
- Dip each baby eggplant slice into the milk. Once fully coated, press each slice into the breadcrumbs, then flip and repeat. Arrange slices on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Sprinkle eggplant with salt and pepper to taste.
- Bake slices in the oven for 25 minutes, then flip and bake for another 15 until the eggplant is softened and lightly browned in spots. Remove tray from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
Make the Tomato Sauce:
- While the baby eggplant is baking, heat olive oil in a large cooking pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add chopped onion and cook for about 8 minutes until very soft and starting to brown.
- Stir in dried basil, salt, curshed tomatoes, tomato paste and honey. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
- Add minced garlic and simmer for another 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Assemble the Stacks:
- With the baby eggplant now cool to the touch, it’s time to arrange them into stacks of 3.
- Starting with the larger slices, top ⅓ of them with 2 tablespoons of tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon of parmesan, 2 tablespoons of mozzarella and a sprinkle of slivered basil. Repeat this process 2 more times, stacking them as you go. If you’re worried about the stacks falling over, prop them up with a toothpick!
- Bake assembled stacks for 20 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and is starting to turn golden brown.
- Garnish with slivered basil and serve!