My daughter and I love eggplant, especially when it’s prepared parmigiana-style. Eggplant takes some effort to prepare, but if you have a little extra time on a weekend, it’s well worth the effort. This is one of those casserole-type dishes that can hang out in the fridge all week, ready to be warmed up for dinner or packed up for lunch. Serve it with a green salad and a side dish of pasta for a weeknight family meal, or stack a wedge of it on a club roll for an instant Italian deli-style lunch.
Before we get started with the recipe, here are a few of my tips!
— My recipe uses corn starch instead of gluten free all-purpose flour to coat the eggplant. I’ve tried it both ways, and in all honesty, using the flour makes the eggplant very gummy. A light dredging of corn starch makes for lighter, non-gummy slices of eggplant once fried.
— When selecting eggplant, try to go with the smaller ones. Usually, there are fewer seeds and the vegetable is a bit more tender.
Gluten Free Eggplant Parmigiana
- 3 small-medium purple eggplant
- Corn starch for dredging
- Sea salt and pepper
- Canola or avocado oil for frying
- Marinara sauce
- Shredded mozzarella
- Grated pecorino cheese
- Ricotta cheese, optional
- Step 1 Peel the skin off the eggplant and discard.
- Step 2 Slice each into rounds about 1/4 inch thick.
- Step 3 Lay the eggplant slices on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Step 4 Place the salted slices in a colander over a bowl. Refrigerate for a couple of hours. The salt pulls the liquid out of the eggplant, resulting in crisper, less gummy slices.
- Step 5 Pat the slices with a clean kitchen towel, allowing them to dry a bit before dredging.
- Step 6 In a bowl, combine the corn starch, more sea salt and a little black pepper. Mix together. Dredge the slices one at a time in the mixture, shaking off any excess.
- Step 7 In a non-stick frying pan, heat the oil. Begin frying the eggplant slices, careful not to overcrowd the pan. When lightly golden on both sides, place on a plate lined with paper towel and drain.
- Step 8 In the meantime, get out the rest of the ingredients to begin layering the casserole. If using ricotta cheese, be sure it’s at room temperature.
- Step 9 Butter the bottom and sides of a baking dish. I used a dish that’s about 7 x 10 for this amount of eggplant.
- Step 10 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Step 11 Begin layering as follows: sauce on bottom, eggplant, more sauce, cheeses, then repeat.
- Step 12 Finish with a nice layer of sauce on top.
- Step 13 Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove foil and sprinkle a nice amount of shredded mozzarella on top. Bake until the cheese is melted and golden brown (sometimes I broil for a few minutes at the very end, too).
- Step 14
Allow the eggplant to rest for at least 15 minutes before cutting into squares. The longer it sits, the better it is! After a day in the fridge, the slices will be perfect and so easy to cut.