Baked Eggplant Parmesan with Polenta


This recipe brings together the classic components of an eggplant Parmesan dish, from the crispy breading to the melted cheese, with the benefits of being baked instead of fried. Using the eggplant to top a bowl of creamy polenta and rich tomato sauce fills out the dish into a hearty and filling meal.

Recipe from Joy the Baker.

2 cups water
2 cups 1% milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup cornmeal
Black pepper, to taste

Eggplant Parmesan
1 medium eggplant, sliced to 1/4 inch rounds
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt pepper
2 large eggs, beaten
1 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomato with Italian seasoning
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping
Fresh basil for topping

Preheat the oven to 375, and set out an oven-safe wire rack on a baking pan. Prepare three bowls, one with flour seasoned with salt and pepper, another with the beaten eggs, and the third with panko bread crumbs seasoned with oregano, salt and pepper. Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds, then dip the slices successively in the flour, the egg, and the bread crumbs, and place on the wire rack. Mist the eggplant slices with olive oil or cooking spray, then bake for 25-30 minutes, flipping halfway to get even color on the bread crumbs and ensure the eggplant is cooked through.

While the eggplant bakes, add diced tomatoes and some chopped fresh basil to a saucepan over medium heat, stir and heat until warm.

To prepare the polenta, add the water, milk and salt to a saucepan and heat until just boiling. Set the heat lower to maintain a controlled boil, and slowly add the cornmeal. Whisk the polenta attentively as it thickens, and add a dash of grated Parmesan cheese and black pepper to taste. Serve the polenta in a bowl, topped with tomato sauce, a few slices of eggplant, some fresh basil and more grated Parmesan cheese.


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