Dishing Up the Dirt

Hazelnut Crusted Eggplant Parmesan

This post is sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. All opinions are my own.

This is our official last meal of our second annual Local Thirty challenge. If you haven’t heard of the challenge yet you can read all about it here.

I say “official” last meal of the challenge in a loose way. This is more of a lifestyle shift than anything. We’ve stoked our cupboards with local staples in place of the usual suspects found at every single grocery store across the country. Pacific Northwest grains instead of generic brands, local oils instead of big names, more dried local herbs instead of exotic spices, and of course as much local meat, dairy, eggs, fish and veggies that we can get our hands on!

This hazelnut crusted eggplant Parmesan is a great way to celebrate the pacific northwest bounty. We used hazelnut flour from my friends over at Bob’s Red Mill that source Oregon hazelnuts for their flour. I loved the slightly nutty flavor and crunchy texture that the hazelnuts added to this nourishing meal. We already had our first snowfall of the season up here in Parkdale (it’s still September for crying out loud!) so this meal was a perfectly cozy one to whip up on a really chilly evening. Despite the cold weather the eggplants are holding on strong and we’re hoping our CSA members and farmers market customers whip up this recipe with the bounty this week! Also– local folks, I used Cascadia Creamery’s Sleeping Beauty cheese in place of traditional Parmesan. It was absolutely lovely! This is a great base recipe to tinker around with what you’ve got on hand. Almond flour would be a great swap, or even cornmeal or traditional breadcrumbs. Go wild!

Happy cooking everyone!

Hazelnut Crusted Eggplant Parmesan

Prep Time: 15 minutes    Cook Time: 45 minutes    Serves: 4

  • 2 medium eggplants, sliced into 1/2” thick rounds
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup hazelnut flour
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, divided (I used a local hard, slightly salty cheese that worked beautifully)
  • 1 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 24 oz jar (3 cups) tomato sauce (homemade preferred)
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place the sliced eggplants on baking sheet and keep to the side.
  2. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs with a little salt and pepper.
  3. In another bowl, mix the hazelnut flour, 1/2 cup Parmesan, dried herbs, crushed red pepper flakes and ½ teaspoon sea salt and pinch of black pepper.
  4. Dip an eggplant slice into the egg wash, then the hazelnut flour mixture. Place back on the baking sheet. Repeat to coat all eggplant slices on both sides.
  5.  Place in the oven and bake until golden and crisp on the outside, about 25 minutes, flipping around the 12 minute mark.
  6. In a large baking dish, pour in about 1 cup of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper. Add an even layer of baked eggplant slices. Add another cup of sauce. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella, ¼ cup of the remaining Parmesan and half of the chopped parsley. Top with another layer of baked eggplant slices and spread the last cup of sauce. Top with 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan and the remaining chopped parsley.
  7. Bake, uncovered, until top is bubbly and golden, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Notes

This recipe is inspired by the blog Eating Bird Food. Cooking times will very depending on your kitchen and specific ingredients


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