Ah the beginning days of marriage.
I remember standing in the grocery store with my husband that first year of marriage when we decided to be adventurous and buy an eggplant. I went home and spent far too much time reading recipes and reviews to find the perfect eggplant recipe. Who knows what I did with that eggplant, all I remember is that we both hated it, which pretty much sums up the whole culinary experience of our first year of marriage.
But then we became a real food family, and with that change I became more determined than ever to expand our palates. I figured, any vegetable can taste good, you just have to figure out the best way to prepare it. So I read about eggplant and experimented and discovered a couple of things:
- Everyone says that the smaller the eggplant, the less bitter it is. I have not found that to be true. In our experience, the smaller ones have thicker skin and are just chewier in general. We have found that we prefer the larger dark purple eggplants because they have a softer texture and the skin is thinner.
- If you want tender eggplant, you have to sweat it. Sweating eggplant is simply putting salt on the cut eggplant and letting it sit for a couple of hours to extract the liquid. Then be sure to pat it dry before using it.
With those two tips, this grain-free eggplant parmesan recipe has quickly become one of our favorites! It’s crusted in an Italian-seasoned almond flour crust and topped with a savory sauce and bubbly mozzarella cheese.
Grain-free Eggplant Parmesan
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 eggs
- 1½ cups almond flour
- ¼ cup parmesan
- ¾ tsp unrefined sea salt (+ more for sweating the eggplant)
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp oregano
- ½ tsp basil
- Pre-made spaghetti or marinara sauce (make your own or look for the kind without added sugar and soybean/canola oil)
- olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
- Slice the eggplant into thin slices about ¼ inch thick.
- Lay out on a baking sheet and salt both sides. Let sit for several hours.
- Pat the eggplant dry.
- Crack the eggs into a small flat dish and beat.
- Stir together almond flour and salt/dried spices and place in another flat dish.
- Dip each eggplant slice in egg, then in almond flour mixture, and place on baking sheet.
- When all the slices have been coated, sprinkle some olive oil over the top and bake in the oven for 20-24 minutes, flipping the slices halfway through.
- After the eggplant is cooked, remove from oven and put ½ cup of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
- Add the eggplant on top of the sauce.
- Spoon a little more sauce on top of the eggplant slices and top with a slice of mozzarella.
- Put back in the oven for 15 more minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and browning around the edges.