Eggplant Sandwiches

Background and History:

Eggplant sandwiches, also known as “melanzane alla parmigiana,” originated in Italy and have become a beloved dish worldwide. The key ingredient is eggplant, which is typically breaded, fried, layered with tomato sauce and cheese, and then baked to perfection. This vegetarian delight is not only delicious but also a great way to enjoy eggplant’s unique flavor and texture.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups of breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup of marinara sauce
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Olive oil for frying

Instructions:

  • Start by slicing the eggplant into 1/4-inch rounds.
  • Set up a breading station with three shallow bowls. Place flour in the first, beaten eggs in the second, and breadcrumbs in the third.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Dip each eggplant slice into the flour, then the eggs, and finally the breadcrumbs, ensuring they are evenly coated.
  • Fry the eggplant slices in batches until they are golden brown on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
  • Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • In a baking dish, spread a thin layer of marinara sauce.
  • Place a layer of fried eggplant slices on top of the sauce, followed by a sprinkle of mozzarella, Parmesan, and fresh basil.
  • Repeat the layering process until you’ve used all the eggplant slices.
  • Finish with a final layer of cheese and basil on top.
  • Bake the sandwich in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Nutrition Facts: (Approximate values per serving)

  • Calories: 380
  • Total Fat: 18g
  • Cholesterol: 120mg
  • Sodium: 680mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Dietary Fiber: 6g
  • Sugars: 6g
  • Protein: 24g

Notes:

  • You can add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a spicy kick.
  • Fresh basil and a drizzle of olive oil make for a fantastic finishing touch.
  • This dish is traditionally served hot, but it’s also delicious at room temperature.
  • For a lighter version, consider baking the breaded eggplant slices instead of frying them.

Allergy Warning:

Please be aware of potential allergens in the ingredients, especially if you have allergies or dietary restrictions. Some individuals may be allergic to eggplant, and others may need gluten-free breadcrumbs and flour. Always check labels and choose ingredients that suit your dietary needs.

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