for 4 servings
- 2 medium eggplants, washed
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups vegetable oil
2 ½ cups marinara sauce, divided
2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced, plus more for garnish
2 cups low-moisture mozzarella, shredded
1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 8 slices fresh mozzarella cheese
- Cut each eggplant into about ½-inch (1-cm) thick round slices.
- Arrange the slices in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
- Sprinkle the eggplant with half of the coarse salt. Flip the slices over and sprinkle with the rest of the salt.
- Put another baking sheet on top of the eggplant and place something heavy, like a cast-iron skillet, on the top baking sheet to help release moisture from the eggplant. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- Uncover the eggplant slices and pat dry with paper towels. Brush most of the salt from the eggplant with a paper towel, then transfer to a medium bowl. Set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, combine the flour, oregano, basil, garlic powder, and pepper. Mix well.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan until it reaches 375°F (190°C).
- Coat each eggplant slice in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess flour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Fry the eggplant in batches until golden brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on a paper towel-lined baking sheet and pat dry using more paper towels to absorb excess oil.
- Pour about 1 cup (260 g) of marinara sauce into a 2½-quart (2 L) baking dish and spread evenly to cover the bottom of the dish.
- Add about 8 eggplant slices (it’s okay if they overlap) and cover with ½ cup (130 g) of marinara. Sprinkle with a third of the fresh basil, then top with about a third of the shredded mozzarella and Parmesan. Repeat to make 2 more layers. Finish with the fresh mozzarella cheese and a final sprinkling of Parmesan.
- Bake for 30 minutes, until the mozzarella is bubbling and golden brown.
- Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve garnished with fresh basil.
SOURCE: Tasty, Gwenaelle Le Cochennec