This is one of those meals that’s pretty much just inspired by me trying to use things from my CSA box. I almost never buy eggplant when I go to the grocery store, but we’ve recently gotten a few in our CSA box. So I was trying to dream up some kind of interesting dinner to use them in. This was the result. And I think it might be a new favorite! It does take a little longer to prepare (mainly because potatoes just take a while to bake), but it’s SO worth it. You should definitely make this for yourself and/or your loved ones soon.
I will for sure be making these again, especially once the weather cools down. A warmed baked potato stuffed with crispy eggplant and gooey cheese sounds like the perfect autumn comfort dinner. So even though the idea came this month, I’m filing this away as a possibly-even-better-in-the-winter recipe.
P.S. Is it too early to start getting excited for fall? It is. OK, forget I said anything then.
Eggplant Parm Baked Potatoes, serves 3-4
3-4 russet potatoes
1/3 cup oil, divided
one small to medium eggplant (approx. 8 oz.)
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely shredded or powdery Parmesan
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
5-6 medium to large basil leaves, torn
salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to season
Begin by rinsing the potatoes and patting them dry. Use a fork to poke holes all over the potatoes, piercing the skin. I usually insert the fork 5-6 times per potato but you don’t need to be exact. Lightly oil each with about 1/2 teaspoon of oil per potato and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle on a little salt. Bake at 375°F for 50-60 minutes. My potatoes were about 12-13 oz. each, so you may want to bake your potatoes a little longer (or less) depending on the size. If you are unsure, it’s better to over bake a little rather than under bake them. You can test them by trying to cut through with the side of a fork. If it’s too hard to cut, then bake them longer.
Meanwhile prepare your eggplant coins. Here you need three small bowls. In one bowl add the Panko and Parmesan. In another bowl combine the eggs and whisk well. And in the third bowl, add the flour. Add the remaining oil (about 1/4 cup or a little more) to a large pan (I used a large cast iron skillet), and heat over medium high heat. You can adjust the oil amount here to whatever works best with the pan you plan to use. Mainly you’re just looking to have plenty of oil in the pan as we are pan frying the coins, but you don’t need so much that they will float (like you would in deep frying). So long as the entire bottom of your pan is covered in a thin layer of oil, you are good.
Rinse and cut the eggplant into thin coins, discarding the very top and bottom. Dip each coin in the flour, then into the egg, and last into the bread crumb/Parmesan mix. Fry each coin in the oil for about 45 seconds to one minute on each side. Then remove to a plate lined with paper towels to soak up excess oil. You’re looking to really get these guys crunchy!
Once the potatoes are baked through, remove from the oven and use a sharp knife to add a slit along the top of each. Press the ends toward each other (with pot holders since they will be hot!) until the baked potato pops open in the center. If it doesn’t pop enough, just use a spoon to gently open it more. Inside add 3-5 eggplant coins, topped with marinara sauce and cheese. Then pop these back in the oven for 5-8 minutes just until the cheese is melted.
Top with a little salt, pepper, and a few red pepper flakes. Then tear the basil into small pieces and scatter all over just before serving. Enjoy! xo. Emma
This looks SO good.
Need. to. try.
This looks great! I definitely plan on making this, thanks for sharing =o)
This looks absolutely delicious. Definitely going to make this for my family. xx
Antonia || Sweet Passions
This looks so delicious!! I love baked potatoes and eggplants. A great comfort dish for rainy days. Thanks for sharing!
In Berlin it is the new food trend to eat Kumpir, which are baked potatoes with a lot of different, mostly Oriental inspired, toppings. Very delicious and to get for 3,50€! I made my own version with a sweet potato, check it out on my blog: http://www.idimin.berlin/gefuellte-suesskartoffel-filled-sweet-potato/ all veggie of course.
Greetings from Berlin,
That looks so good!
It looks nice, but that is way too heavy for me, even for a comfort food.
this looks so yummy. I’ve been looking for a good potato recipe http://www.hannamarielei.com
Such a creative recipe, I never would have thought to pair these two together. We love baked potatoes at our house and eggplant parm is one of my most favorite meals. Making ASAP 🙂
Oh, boy! Adding this recipe to my “Winter Comfort Foods” list, pronto! Looks delicious.
Um, yum!! These look amazing– I definitely need to try this recipe!
Totally agree. I actually think a few well placed boundaries or “rules” can make creativity so much more fun. So, in the kitchen, having certain ingredients you have to use before they go bad is actually really helpful and sometimes pushes me to try new combinations that I otherwise never would have considered. I love being in our CSA for many reasons but this is def one of them. 🙂
That IS funny—eggplant season is upon us I guess. 🙂
This looks so good! I will definitely be making these soon, with eggplant season upon us. I just love the creativity that the CSA boxes inspire — it’s not a burden, it’s inspiration.
That looks super delicious, I have to try this!
This looks yummy 🙂 also so funny! I was looking up your eggplant meatballs recipe just this morning before this post came up! Eggplant vibes were in the air I guess haha
I’m not the biggest fan of baked potatoes but this looks really good!