The Best Eggplant Parmesan (Gluten Free!)
I am guessing you probably hear claims of “the best” this or that recipe all over the interwebs … so perhaps you might be asking what right have I to claim that THIS one is the best? … what is it that makes THIS eggplant parmesan so special? It’s simply that it’s saucy, yet crispy and crunchy and cheesy and spiced just right.
You see, I made Eggplant Parmesan for two of my friends … I adapted my Eggplant Fries recipe for the eggplant slices and made it gluten free by using Rice Chex in place of the breadcrumbs … and both of my friends who tasted it told me it was the best Eggplant Parmesan they’ve ever had! One of these friends is an avid eggplant lover and the other is a vegetarian, so you know they’ve had their share of this dish … so what was it that made this oven-fried version so special?
I think I figured out what makes it soooo good … here’s the scoop:
The cornmeal and the Rice Chex give it a good crunch that doesn’t get as soggy as normal breadcrumbs. It’s hard to maintain a good crunch after coating the crumbs with sauce and cheese, but the gluten free coating I used on my eggplant held up! I never would have thought that the gluten free version I made would turn out even better than the gluten-coated one, but it makes sense when you think about what it’s made of. Rice Chex and cornmeal have a distinctive, lovely crunch factor. When coated onto thin eggplant slices and baked with a little oil, they come out perfectly crispy. Sauce and cheese does nothing to slow that down.
You can make the eggplant slices ahead of time and freeze them for instant Eggplant Parm anytime your little heart desires …
- 2 cups crushed Rice Chex cereal
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 cup grated sharp cheese (I used a mix of Gruyere and Asiago, but Parmesan or Romano would also be wonderful)
- 2 teaspoons Red Robin Seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs (I used a mix of basil, rosemary & tarragon)
- 1 medium eggplant, peeled & sliced into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 eggs
- 2 Tablespoons avocado oil (or other high-temperature cooking oil)
- Your favorite marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- Shredded Italian blend and/or mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush 2 baking sheets with avocado oil to coat them fully.
- Mix all ingredients for the breadcrumb mixture together in a small mixing bowl.
- Get out another bowl and whisk the eggs it the bowl till they are fluffy.
- Now for the dipping: It helps to designate one hand for "dry" dipping and one for "wet". Dip each eggplant slice in the eggs with your wet hand and then set the slice in the crumb mixture and, using your dry hand, gently coat them fully with crumbs, sprinkling extra crumb mixture on each side. Set the coated slices on the prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the eggplant slices. Drizzle the sticks with oil and/or spray with cooking spray.
- Bake at 400 for 10 - 15 minutes or until they are golden brown. At this point they can be frozen for later or made into Eggplant Parmesan now.
- To make the Eggplant Parmesan: Pour some marinara sauce to coat the bottom of a casserole pan or individual oven-safe dishes. Put a layer of the largest crispy breaded eggplant on bottom, top with a bit of sauce and shredded cheese, then another same size or slighly smaller eggplant slice on next, top again with sauce and cheese, then a third eggplant slice and more sauce and cheese. Bake at 350 F for another 10 - 15 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted, bubbly and maybe starting to brown a bit.
RECIPE SOURCE: http://www.sumptuousspoonfuls.com/
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This recipe was share at Weekend Potluck.