Preheat the oven to 350 F. Slice the eggplant lengthwise without cutting all the way through, therefore preserving the stem to keep everything together. Also slice your tomato and mozzarella cheese into the same number of openings you made in your eggplant.
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 tsp dried oregano
Add the olive oil to a nonstick frying pan. Bring to a medium heat and then add the Panko breadcrumbs and stir until evenly coated. You need to keep a sharp eye and constantly stir or toss the crumbs as they start to get golden. Turn off the heat when they are to a deep golden color. Transfer to a bowl or container as they will continue to toast in the hot pan. After the crumbs are cooled down, mix them with the grated Parmesan, the dried basil and oregano and some salt and pepper.
Rub a bit of olive oil on and inside your eggplant and put the sliced tomatoes in between the layers of the eggplant. Then bake for 25 minutes in a shallow baking dish until cooked through. This will depend on the size of your eggplant and the width of your cut slices.
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 bar mozzarella cheese
When your eggplant is done or near done carefully remove it from the dish and spread the tomato sauce on the bottom of your dish in an even layer. Put the eggplant and tomato back into the dish on top of the sauce and then insert the mozzarella slices in between your eggplant and tomato slices. Spread the panko mix on top of the eggplant but try to avoid the area with tomato sauce.
- 2 tbsp Ricotta cream (optional)
- 2 tsp Basil oil (optional)
Put the whole dish back into the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the tomato sauce is hot. Remove from the oven and serve with the basil oil and ricotta cream if you have them.