I think eggplant must be the prettiest vegetable. This is the second time I have received eggplant in my box from New South Produce Coop (formerly Foodshed Farms) so I did a little research and a little tweaking and came up with this.  It is similar to eggplant Parmesan but much easier. 

I started with these ingredients. 

Sauté the onion in a little olive oil then add the jar of marinara sauce. Let simmer while you prepare the eggplant. 

Rinse the eggplant. I had about 20 little baby ones. Cut off the green stem, slice longwise, and put in a colander in the sink or on a kitchen towel. Sprinkle the flesh side generously with salt and let sit for about 30 minutes. This draws moisture and any bitterness out of the eggplant. After 30 minutes, rinse well and pat dry. 

Meredith can tell you why salt draws the water out. It has to do with ions and such. 😊

In a skillet, toast 2 cups of breadcrumbs. I used Planko Italian Breadcrumbs. It takes about 8 minutes. 

Combine the following in a mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs.  

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 T. Parmesan, grated

1 T. Italian cheese blend

2 T. Parsley, chopped

1 T. Olive oil 

Mix thoroughly. 

Put a layer of marinara sauce in bottom of baking dish. Layer the eggplant on top and then cover with breadcrumbs. 

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and put a slice of fresh mozzarella on top of each eggplant. 

Return to oven until mozzarella melts, about 10 minutes. 

Serve with a sprinkle of basil.  

Baby Eggplant Bake

20 small eggplants


1 jar of marinara sauce

1 onion

Olive oil for sautéing 

2 cups bread crumbs

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 T. Parmesan, grated

1 T. Italian cheese blend

2 T. Parsley, chopped

1 T. Olive oil 

1 package fresh mozzarella 

Basil leaves


Sauté onions in olive oil. Add marinara sauce. Simmer till hot. Remove from heat. 

Rinse and cap eggplant. Cut in half lengthwise. Put in colander and sprinkle with salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse and pat dry. 

Toast breadcrumbs in skillet. Combine minced garlic, cheese, parsley, olive oil and toasted breadcrumbs. 

Put thin layer of sauce in bottom of pan, lay eggplant on top, cover with breadcrumb mixture. 

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. 

Remove from oven. Lay mozzarella on each eggplant and return to oven until mozzarella is melted. 

Spoon marinara sauce onto dish then add eggplant. Sprinkle with basil. 

Note:  This made enough for 2 pans. My oven is small so I had to bake them separately. In one pan I put marinara in the bottom before I baked but I forgot this step in the other pan and it didn’t make much difference in the outcome. 

Recipe inspired by The Dinner Vine


I hope you have a great day!