This Friday's Lenten offering is a bit of an Italian-American treat. My husband is a quarter Italian, and he loves it when I ketofy his favorites, so he was quite excited when I whipped these babies up.
Eggplant Parmesan is typically battered and fried, then smothered in sauce and cheese. With my triple-step breading process, and some help from our friend Rao, we managed quite the nice Italian-style meal. I served this with a crisp, Italian side salad to round out our plates, and everyone was happy, including the kids (my daughter had two servings the day I made it and cleaned out the leftovers the next night, so it was definitley a hit)!
Notes: Eggplant tends to get a bit soggy as it cooks. To help a bit, I rested the freshly sliced rounds on paper towels to draw out a bit of excess moisture prior to breading and frying. You also do not want to overcook the rounds. Cook them just long enough on each side for the cheese to get golden and start crisping up, but going a lot longer than that will cook the eggplant to mush, so watch it closely as you fry. Slicing the eggplant into slightly thicker rounds will also help, but may yield fewer servings (unless you're down with cutting some finished rounds in half before serving).
While I decided to finish it off in the oven casserole-style (#teamlazy), you will retain more of a crunch on your breading if you lay the fried rounds out and top each one individually before baking. I leave that up to your discretion.Print
- 1 lb (16 oz/ 454 g) eggplant, weighed after trimming
- 4 tbsp (approx. 2 oz/ 57 g) coconut flour
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tbsp (1 fl oz/ 30 ml) heavy cream
- 1 1/2 (approx. 12 oz/ 340 g) grated parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp Seasoned Salt, divided
- 1/2 c (4 fl oz/ 118 ml) or coconut oil, or more for frying
- 1 c (8 fl oz/ 237 ml) Rao’s marinara sauce (or similar, about 4 carbs per 1/2 c)
- 4 oz (113 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels.
- Slice the eggplant into rounds between 1/4″ and 1/2″ thick, as desired. Place the rounds onto the paper towels and let stand 30 minutes to absorb some of the excess moisture.
- Grab three shallow but wide bowls, or alternatively two plates and one bowl. In one dish, place the coconut flour, in the second bowl the eggs and heavy cream, and the parmesan in the last container.
- Beat the heavy cream and egg together to make an egg wash.
- Evenly divide the seasoning between the coconut flour, the beaten egg wash, and the parmesan cheese. Mix the spices into each.
- Step one is to lightly roll each round in the coconut flour. You want a good dusting on the eggplant, but not a thick layer, so be sure to tap off any excess.
- Step two is to dip each floured round into the egg wash, being sure to coat completely, then letting any excess drip back down into the bowl.
- Step three is to roll or dredge the eggplant in the seasoned parmesan to cover well, again tapping off any excess. You may need to press it into the eggplant a little. That’s OK.
- Repeat the triple breading steps with each eggplant round, and place aside on a plate until ready to fry.
- In a large pan, heat your chosen oil over medium. You want a good 1/2 inch of liquid oil in the bottom of the pan.
- Once it is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles when dropped into the pan, it is ready. Add the rounds, a few at a time, to the pan to fry. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. When in doubt, fewer is almost always better.
- DO NOT WALK AWAY. Watch your eggplant! When the first side is golden brown, and a good crust is formed (it should look very close to a unified piece of breading), flip and continue cooking on the second side. This usually takes 3-4 minutes per side, but again, watch and don’t ever walk off when pan frying.
- When the second side is golden and your crust is well-formed, then remove from the oil to a foil-lined baking sheet or a large casserole dish. Repeat until all eggplant rounds are cooked.
- If using a baking sheet, place each individual round on the sheet and top with a little marinara and cheese. If using a casserole dish, arrange rounds so they overlap, as desired, then evenly disperse the marinara and cheese over the top.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until sauce is heated through and cheese is well melted.
- Let stand five minutes then serve hot.
Macros estimated for 8 servings, but you can get as many as ten from this recipe depending on how large of a serving each person takes.
When frying foods, it’s a little difficult to get a good nutrition count of fat, because while you may use a lot of oil in your pan, a large portion of it doesn’t get absorbed into your breading. I fry these in avocado oil, and use a very goodly amount, but most of it stays behind in my pan, and so I guesstimated macros for about 1/2 c oil consumed across the entire recipe. It may be a little more or less, but I didn’t want to leave the fat estimate out because you do eat some of it.
Per 1/8 recipe: 343 cal, 12.2 g protein, 28.8 g fat, 9.7 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 6.7 g NET carbs
- Serving Size: 1/8 recipe
Keywords: Eggplant, Eggplant Parmesan, Vegetarian, Italian