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Delicious Deconstructed Eggplant Parmigiano

So eggplant lovers, here is my new way to have eggplant Parmigiano without having to fry anything and without a lot of unnecessary fillings, like meats, veggies, eggs, olives, mushrooms and a host of other things. I favor a small round violet colored Italian eggplant called violetta (makes sense). I grow them in my garden with seeds from growitalian.com but you can use any eggplant available for this dish. The beauty of it all is that it is baked and delivers great taste and a nice crunch from the almond and breadcrumb mixture. A little unconventional, yes, but hey, that’s what cooking is all about! Be your own boss in the kitchen!  The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a gang of people.

Deconstructed Eggplant Parmigiano
Serves 4

Eight ¼ inch thick round slices eggplant, unpeeled
2 large eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup sliced almonds
1 to 1-1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
Extra virgin olive oil
8 thick slices mozzarella cheese
1 cup tomato sauce
Basil leaves for garnish

Break the eggs up with a fork in a shallow bowl; season with salt and pepper.

In another bowl, combine the almonds and the panko breadcrumbs.

Coat both sides of each slice of eggplant in the beaten egg and then coat and press  both sides in the almond mixture. Lay the slices on a lightly oiled baking sheet in single layers. Refrigerate 30 minutes uncovered.

Heat oven to 350F.

Bake the eggplant for about 12 minutes or until nicely browned on the underside, then carefully turn over and bake the other side. Top each slice with a slice of the cheese and allow  it to melt. Remove eggplant from oven and place two slices on each of 4 plates; top each one with some of the tomato sauce and serve hot with basil garnish.

More eggplant recipes at www.ciaoitalia.com

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