Eggplant Parm, The Old Fashioned Way: My Triple Double

Eggplant Parm, The Old Fashioned Way: My Triple Double

A cast-iron skillet. Thick slices of eggplant. A ladleful of marinara sauce and a double-topping of cheese. Make eggplant parm magic tonight! Click to skip to the recipe

Original Eggplant Parm


This week the eggplants drew me in! 

They drew me in in a BIG way. The varieties were amazing. So many colors: purple, green and white.

There were itty bitty ones and skinny ones and fat ones and then huge ones!

I chose a deep purple Japanese variety and stuffed it into my basket.

That night, I made eggplant parm….The old fashioned way. I did a triple-dip of flour, egg, and panko breadcrumbs and got a fabulously crunchy result.

My cast iron skillet was the perfect utensil to fry thick slices of eggplant.

A ladleful of marinara sauce and a double topping of cheese and dinner was ready in a minute.

It’s my version of a triple-double! Watch out Russell Westbrook.

Eggplant Parmesan

Take advantage of your favorite variety of eggplant using this simple frying technique to create a super Italian inspired dish.


1 large eggplant, cut into ¾-inch slices

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

2 large eggs, beaten

2 cups seasoned Panko breadcrumbs

Vegetable oil for frying

2 cups marinara sauce 

16 ounces fresh Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated

Yields:   8

Time:   A Crowd

glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce
glazed lemon cake with berry sauce

Season the eggplant with salt and pepper. Dredge a slice of eggplant first in the flour, then through the beaten egg (shaking off the excess), and finally into the breadcrumbs. Place the coated eggplant onto a baking rack or piece of parchment paper and continue with the remaining slices.

Heat about an inch of vegetable in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Place some of the eggplant slices into the hot oil. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan. Cook until the eggplant is golden on one side, about 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully turn the eggplant and cook until golden on the second side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer the eggplant slices to a paper-towel-lined platter.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Pour enough marinara sauce into a baking dish to coat the bottom. Lay the eggplant slices into the dish. Top with the remaining marinara sauce. Distribute the Mozzarella cheese over the top of the eggplant and sprinkle Parmesan over everything.

Bake until the cheese is melted and gooey, about 20 minutes.

Veal Marsala that melts in your mouth…

Veal Marsala that melts in your mouth…

Yes, this is just as delicious as it sounds, and surprisingly quick to make. In place of traditional mushrooms, the Marsala sauce combines thinly sliced fennel, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes with the wine. Truffle mustard adds a unique depth of flavor– one you will want to incorporate into other dishes.

This veal, like so many of my recipes, comes from a delicious memory. In the early days of my marriage, my husband and I would travel to my in-law’s home on Sunday night where my mother-in-law, Mary Jane, served veal marsala almost every time.

And why wouldn’t she? It was a winner!

I loved the tangy, rich sauce and the thin, lightly breaded veal cutlet. She bought the meat from a local butcher and he did the pounding for her. The end result is a tender, wine-laced bite that literally melted in my mouth.

My twist on the traditional recipe is to substitute Mary Jane’s sauce staple that includes thick slices of earthy mushrooms and replace them with fennel, artichoke, and sun-dried tomatoes – an ode to all tastes Italian and one of the best recipes in my latest cookbook.

This is hardly the only recipe from the Skillets and Saucery chapter of SUNDAY BEST that yields a melt in your mouth, romantic dinner best served with wine. I like to post the seared, braised and grilled dishes from this chapter maybe more than all the others, because they encourage passionate home cooks to use their imaginations.

Let me know if you made anything particularly luscious in your kitchen this weekend!

Sunday Best Veal Marsala

Makes 4 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons butter

4 (3 to 4-ounces) veal cutlets, pounded to 1/8-inch thickness

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

1 small fennel bulb, tops trimmed, cored and thinly sliced, about ½ cup

6 to 8 medium artichoke hearts, thinly sliced, about ½ cup

¼ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained

½ teaspoon dried French thyme

1 cup Marsala wine

½ cup homemade chicken broth, or prepared low sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon truffle mustard

Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan over medium high heat. Season both sides of the veal with salt and pepper. Place the cutlets into the pan and cook until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Turn and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove the veal to a platter.

Place the fennel, artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes into the pan. Cook until the vegetables are soft and golden, about 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle the veggies with thyme. Pour the wine into the pan. Cook until the wine reduces by half. Pour the broth into the pan. Stir in the mustard. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer the sauce for 1 minute. Place the veal back into the pan. Simmer until the veal is cooked through, and the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes.