I absolutely adore eggplant parmesan, but it's definitely an indulgence. I've tried roasting the eggplant before, and while I like it, it's not, you know, eggplant parmesan. It doesn't have that crunch. And then I came across the idea of making parmesan-crusted eggplant in a waffle iron on the ChowHound Home Cooking board. I knew I had to try it. TODAY.
It was amazing! It was easy! It was healthy! It was fast! I'm never making eggplant parmesan the conventional way again. NEVER. This technique is that good.
Pull out your trusty waffle iron (I used a regular one, not a Belgian one) and start it heating up. Peel and slice the eggplant.
Make an egg wash by beating one egg with some water to make a thin liquid. Dip each slice of eggplant first in the egg wash, and then dredge in the finely grated Parmesan.
Shake off any excess, and pop it on your pre-heated waffle iron. My iron has a non-stick coating, so I didn't need any extra oil.
The thin coating of Parmesan turns into a delicate, crunchy coating. The eggplant gets perfectly tender and cooked through in just three or four minutes.
I'm sure you could also use a George Foreman grill, or a panini press, but I don't have those tools. In general I don't like having single-use appliances taking up room in my kitchen, but I can't quite bear to get rid of the waffle iron. And now I have a second use for it! I kind of like how the eggplant ended up in a waffle shape, too. For one thing, it made nice little pockets for holding the red sauce! And I totally convinced my kids to eat these by calling them "crunchy Parmesan waffles." My kids do love their stinky cheese.
I made pasta for the girls, but as much as I love noodles myself, all I really wanted was the eggplant! Need something for your Meatless Monday rotation? This is a sure winner.