Homemade eggplant parmesan and rosemary garlic focaccia bread
Eggplant parmesan has been one of my favorite meals since I was a kid. Yes, I know how weird it sounds for a kid to love eggplant parm but, I did! It was my go-to meal of choice whenever we would go out to an Italian restaurant as a family. Today, I make it for my family and hope to pass the love of this incredible dish along!
Rosemary focaccia bread
- 1 1/3 cup warm water (about 110°F*)
- 2 teaspoons sugar or honey
- 1 (0.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- flaked sea salt
- Add warm water and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough attachment, and stir to combine. Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water. Give the yeast a quick stir to mix it in with the water. Then let it sit for 5-10 minutes until the yeast is foamy.
- Turn the mixer on low speed, and add gradually flour, olive oil, and salt. Increase speed to medium-low, and continue mixing the dough for 5 minutes. (If the dough is too sticky and isn’t pulling away from the sides of the bowl, add in an extra 1/4 cup flour while it is mixing.)
- Remove dough from the mixing bowl, and use your hands to shape it into a ball. Grease the mixing bowl (or a separate bowl) with olive oil or cooking spray, then place the dough ball back in the bowl and cover it with a damp towel. Place in a warm location and let it rise for 45-60 minutes, or until the dough has nearly doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, and roll it out into a large circle or rectangle until that the dough is about 1/2-inch thick*. Cover the dough with a greased piece of plastic wrap, and let the dough continue to rise for another 20 minutes.
- Remove the plastic wrap, and transfer the dough to a large baking sheet. Use your fingers to poke deep dents (seriously, poke all the way down to the baking sheet!) all over the surface of the dough. Then drizzle a tablespoon or two of olive oil evenly all over the top of the dough, and sprinkle evenly with the fresh rosemary needles and sea salt.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the dough is slightly golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven, and drizzle with a little more olive oil if desired.
- Slice, and serve warm.
- 1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/4″ thick slices
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 1/2 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil, for lightly pan-frying
- 3 cups marinara sauce, homemade or store-bought
- 2 cups whole milk mozzarella shredded
- 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded
- A handful of fresh basil leaves chopped, for garnish (optional)
- Salt both sides of your eggplant slices and place them in a large colander in the sink. Let the liquid drain for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- When your eggplant slices have finished draining liquid, brush off the excess salt
- In 2 shallow plates, add breadcrumbs to one and whisk eggs and milk in the other. Dip both sides of eggplant slice into milk/egg mixture then cover with breadcrumbs, shaking off the excess. Place on a plate or large baking sheet and repeat until all eggplant slices have been coated.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil into the skillet. Once the skillet is hot, add two eggplant slices at a time to the skillet and cook on both sides until golden brown, remove and set on a large plate lined with paper towels. Repeat until you’ve pan-fried them all.
- In a large casserole dish, add 1 cup of marinara sauce to the bottom of the casserole dish. Add a layer of eggplant slices then using a 1/4 cup, dollop marinara sauce on top of the eggplant slices. On top of the eggplant slices, sprinkle a generous amount of mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers until you run out of eggplants slices. Top the casserole with more cheese before you place it in the oven
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and brown on top.
- Serve hot and top with chopped basil, if using.