Ina Garten smiling
Ina Garten's Tips For Making Exceptional Eggplant Parm
In her Food Network series "Cook Like a Pro," Ina Garten shares that the best way to take eggplant parmesan to the next level is to roast it instead of breading and frying it.
Roasting the eggplant eliminates the splashes of hot oil, a dirty stove, and the greasy backwash resulting from the frying method. It also requires less work and fewer ingredients.
An eggplant's air pockets allow its soft flesh to soak up oil easily, which is all it needs to roast. Frying, on the other hand, requires a lot of oil.
To make the dish, Garten roasts the eggplant with some olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano before layering and baking it with marinara sauce, mozzarella, basil, and parmesan.
She then finishes it all off with a crispy breadcrumb topping. As Garten claims in the series, "once you've roasted eggplant, you'll never go back to frying it again."
Garten also approves store-bought marinara sauce and prefers Rao's, but you can pick your favorite. She adds garlic and herb goat cheese to give the dish some creaminess and tang.
To further improve texture, salt the eggplant slices and let them sit to draw out more moisture. Then, pat them dry before adding spices and roasting them in the oven.