The Washington Post

Jersey-Style Eggplant Parm

Jersey-Style Eggplant Parm 4.000

Renee Comet for The Washington Post; styling by Bonnie S. Benwick

Plate Lab Sep 29, 2016

This homey, saucy stew dispenses with the usual breading and frying because, as chef Michael Friedman of All-Purpose Pizzeria puts it, breaded eggplant quickly turns soggy. Instead, the eggplant is roasted in a lot of oil and layered with freshly made tomato sauce and two types of cheese, with bread crumbs on top for crunch.

You'll need 2 small gratin dishes.

Make Ahead: The roasted eggplant can be refrigerated for up to 5 days before assembly and baking. The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 3 months.The gratin-dish casseroles can be assembled and refrigerated up to 5 days before baking.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • For the sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • One 28-ounce can no-salt-added whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano variety imported from Italy
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Sicilian
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • For the eggplant
  • One 1 1/2-pound eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • For assembly
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (4 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 8 large fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1/2 cup toasted plain breadcrumbs


For the sauce: Pour the oil into a small saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic starts to lightly brown on the edges, 2 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the oregano and salt. Increase the heat to medium-high, so the mixture starts to bubble, then reduce the heat to medium, so the liquid is barely bubbling around the edges. Cook for 1 hour or until the sauce has thickened, reduced and darkened slightly. Use an immersion (stick) blender or transfer to a food processor; puree until smooth. Let cool. You'll have about 3 cups of sauce; reserve half for this recipe and half for another use.

For the eggplant: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with clean dish towels, and have 2 small gratin dishes at hand.

Lay the eggplant slices on the baking sheets, then sprinkle the slices with the salt. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, then pat them with the towels to remove any excess moisture on the surface; this will help remove bitterness.

Remove the eggplant slices from the baking sheets, then drizzle each of the sheets with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Return the eggplant slices to the baking sheets, and drizzle them with the remaining oil. Roast until they have absorbed all the oil and have slightly browned, 10 to 20 minutes. Let cool.

To assemble, spread 1/4 cup of the sauce in the bottom of each gratin dish, then divide the garlic slivers between them. Add a quarter of the eggplant slices to each dish, overlapping them as needed, then top each portion with 1/4 cup of sauce. Scatter 1/4 cup of the shredded mozzarella over that layer of sauce in each portion, plus 1 tablespoon each Parmigiano-Reggiano and half the basil. Repeat the layers, beginning with the eggplant and ending with the Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Bake until the cheese is browned and gooey, 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Top each portion with 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs. Serve hot.

Recipe Source

Adapted from chef Michael Friedman of All-Purpose Pizzeria in the District's Shaw neighborhood.

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6, using half the sauce): 360

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 29g 45%

Saturated Fat: 6g 30%

Cholesterol: 15mg 5%

Sodium: 500mg 21%

Total Carbohydrates: 20g 7%

Dietary Fiber: 5g 20%

Sugar: 8g

Protein: 10g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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