In this eggplant Parmesan recipe, we bread the eggplant in panko for extra crunch, then arrange it over a bed of our Basic Tomato Sauce and layer it with fresh basil leaves and mozzarella. In the southern Italian region of Campania, its known for its exceptional buffalo milk mozzarella and the many recipes the cheese inspires, such as melanzane alla parmigiana, or eggplant recipes.
Special equipment: A reliable candy/fat thermometer is helpful for getting an accurate read on the oil.
What to buy: Panko is coarse Japanese-style breadcrumbs, available in many grocery stores.
We used Japanese eggplant in this recipe because of its thin skin and sweet, delicate flavor. If this or any other smaller eggplant isn’t available, the more common globe eggplant will work; just be sure to then use a larger baking dish.
Game plan: Because of the variation in eggplant size, you may have to adjust the number of slices to fill the dish. The key is to have the same number of eggplant slices as mozzarella slices and basil leaves. When choosing your eggplants, shoot for about a pound total. That should be plenty for four people.
Beverage pairing: Feudi di San Gregorio Greco di Tufo, Italy. Greco di Tufo is a grape found in southern Italy, and it produces wines that remarkably seem to be both rich and lean. In this case the roundness and medium body of the wine will seem proportionate with the eggplant and cheese, while its acidity and minerality will be a refreshing contrast.