Can You Roast Eggplant Parmesan in an Air Fryer?
When it comes to cooking delicious and healthy meals, the air fryer has become a popular kitchen appliance. Its ability to fry food with little or no oil has revolutionized the way we prepare our favorite dishes. But can you use this amazing gadget to make a classic Italian dish like Eggplant Parmesan? The answer is yes, and today we’ll show you how.
Eggplant Parmesan is a timeless recipe that combines the rich flavors of eggplant, tomato sauce, and melted cheese. Traditionally, this dish is baked in the oven, but using an air fryer can save you time and reduce the amount of oil used. Let’s dive into the details of how to make this mouthwatering Italian favorite with your air fryer.
Choosing the Right Eggplant
Before we get started, it’s important to choose the right eggplant for your Eggplant Parmesan. Look for eggplants that have a shiny and smooth skin without any blemishes. They should also feel firm and heavy for their size. A fresh and properly ripened eggplant will have a sweet and mild taste.
Start by washing the eggplant thoroughly under cold water. Then, remove the stem and slice it into 1/2-inch rounds. If you prefer a less bitter taste, you can sprinkle salt on both sides of the slices and let them sit for about 30 minutes. This process helps draw out excess moisture and minimizes the bitter flavors. Afterward, rinse the slices and pat them dry.
Coating the Eggplant
Next, we’ll coat the eggplant slices to ensure they get that perfect crispy texture. Prepare three bowls for this process. In the first bowl, add all-purpose flour. In the second bowl, beat a couple of eggs. And in the third bowl, mix bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, salt, and your favorite Italian seasoning.
First, dip the eggplant slice into the flour, making sure it’s coated evenly. Shake off any excess flour before dipping it into the beaten eggs. Finally, lay the slice onto the bread crumb mixture and press gently to make sure it sticks to both sides.
Air Frying the Eggplant
Now, it’s time to fire up your air fryer. Preheat it to 375°F (190°C) for about 5 minutes. Once it’s hot, arrange the coated eggplant slices in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Make sure they don’t overlap to ensure even cooking.
Cook the eggplant slices for about 10-12 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking process. The air fryer will give them a beautifully golden and crispy exterior while keeping the inside tender. If you’re making a large batch, you may need to cook them in multiple batches.
Assembling the Eggplant Parmesan
While your eggplant slices are cooking in the air fryer, let’s move on to the assembling process. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C).
Spread a layer of your favorite tomato sauce onto the bottom of a baking dish. Then, arrange a layer of the air-fried eggplant slices on top of the sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and grated Parmesan cheese over the eggplant. Repeat until you’ve used all the eggplant slices, finishing with a layer of cheese on top.
Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake it in the preheated oven for around 20 minutes. After that, remove the foil and let it cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Keep an eye on it to prevent the cheese from burning.
Serving and Enjoying
Once your Eggplant Parmesan is out of the oven, allow it to cool for a few minutes before serving. The flavors will have melded together beautifully, and the cheesy topping will be irresistibly gooey. Garnish with some fresh basil or parsley for an extra touch of freshness.
Eggplant Parmesan made in an air fryer is a healthier alternative compared to the traditional oven-baked version. The reduced amount of oil used and the short cooking time in the air fryer make this dish more waistline-friendly, without sacrificing any of its deliciousness.
So, next time you’re craving a comforting Italian meal, give your air fryer a whirl. With its versatility and ability to produce delectable results, you won’t be disappointed with the crispy and flavorful Eggplant Parmesan it delivers.