I didn't give this a 1-star rating because "Couldn't eat it" would be unfair. BUT, I couldn’t give it more than 2 because the recipe is misnamed and misleading. This may be perfectly wonderful, but it is NOT "Eggplant Parmesan", it's an eggplant casserole. And that's fine, but eggplant parmesan is a very classic dish and calling this eggplant parmesan is like playing Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and calling it Beethoven’s Fifth. Or suggesting carbonara sauce can be made without eggs! A wonderfully simple dish with three main ingredients: eggplant, LOTS of parmigiano reggiano cheese and “sugo” (gravy) or what we call spaghetti sauce, Eggplant Parmesan uses FRIED eggplant and is so loved because of the beautiful marriage of flavors between the eggplant and parmigiano reggiano cheese!
When I make it (just like my Italian mother and grandmother, see the photos) I use the sugo that’s simmering on the stove, flavored by a roast, meatballs and sometimes sausage so there’s no need to add herbs or spices because the sauce imparts a flavor that you cannot get out of a jar. No breadcrumbs! No basil! And NO MOZZARELLA! Two last things: eggplant should always be sliced VERTICALLY for frying. Crosswise slices allow eggplant fibers to soak up the oil. And if you think Italians only use olive oil, think again. Eggplant should be fried in an oil that can withstand a high temperatures. Grapeseed oil is best, heated to about 330 degrees.
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I didn't give this a 1-star rating because "Couldn't eat it" would be unfair. BUT, I couldn’t...