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Bowl of Food: Baked Eggplant Parmesan with Creamy Polenta

  • Author: Joy the Baker



For the Polenta

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk (you could also just use water, vegetable or chicken broth here)
  • scant 1 teaspoon salt (a bit less if you’re using a broth)
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • fresh cracked black pepper

For the Eggplant

  • 1 medium eggplant (large enough to get 6 to 8 1/2-inch slices)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
  • olive oil for coating
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomato with Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • fresh basil for topping


  1. To make the polenta, in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring water and milk (or more water or broth) to a simmer.
  2. Add the salt and slowly whisk in the polenta. Lower the heat to medium-low and bring mixture to a simmer. Stir in the butter and allow the polenta to simmer and thicken for 30 minutes. Once the polenta has thickened, add fresh cracked black pepper, remove from heat, cover, and allow to rest while you make the eggplant.
  3. When ready to serve, remove the lid and whisk the polenta well before spooning into bowls.
  4. To make the eggplant place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place a baking rack over a half-sheet baking tray and set aside.
  5. Wash the outside of the eggplant and slice into 1/2-inch thick slices.
  6. Set out three medium bowls. In one bowl whisk together flour with two big pinches of salt and pepper. In another bowl place eggs and beat well. In the final bowl place bread crumbs, oregano, parmesan, and a few good pinches of salt and pepper.
  7. First dip an eggplant slice into the flour mixture, lightly coating both sides.
  8. Next dip into the beaten egg, lightly coating on both sides.
  9. Finally dip the eggplant in the panko mixture, coating both sides, and pressing lightly with your fingers to evenly coat the eggplant slices. Place on the wire rack. Dip all of the eggplant slices, placing on the wire rack to bake.
  10. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Place in the oven to bake until golden brown and cooked through, about 18-22 minutes.
  11. While the eggplant bakes, place diced tomatoes and butter in a small saucepan. Heat over medium heat until warmed. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  12. To serve, in a medium serving bowl spoon warm polenta. Top with crisp eggplant slices and warm tomato sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh torn basil. Enjoy!


  • This recipe makes more polenta that you’ll need for the two servings indicated. I like to refrigerate the leftover polenta and enjoy it the next day with over easy eggs for breakfast. Reheat chilled polenta by adding a bit more water or milk and reheating in a small saucepan or in the microwave. Stir until smooth and heated through


  • Serving Size: 2