Panko and Beer Battered Eggplant Parmesan Stacks Recipe

  • 8 (1/4 inch thick) slices eggplant rounds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leeks, chopped
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 fluid ounces beer
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  1. Place eggplant on paper towels; cover with 1 teaspoon salt. Let sit until moisture is drawn out, 10 to 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Heat canola oil in a deep fry pan over medium heat.
  3. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; add the leek. Cook and stir until leek is slightly translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach; cook until slightly wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook and stir until spinach is fully wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Combine panko, Parmesan cheese, and parsley in a bowl. Whisk flour, paprika, salt, and pepper together in a separate bowl; pour in beer. Whisk until batter is loose, adding more beer if batter is too thick. Dredge eggplant in the batter, allowing excess to run off; coat in panko mixture.
  5. Drop 1 pinch of panko into the canola oil to test the heat. It should bubble up without splattering out. Fry battered eggplant for 30 seconds; flip. Fry until golden brown, about 30 seconds. Place on a paper towel to drain.
  6. Combine spinach mixture, ricotta cheese, salt, and pepper in a bowl; spread an even amount onto 4 of the fried eggplant slices. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese; cover with a second slice of fried eggplant. Top with mozzarella cheese. Place onto a baking sheet.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven until cheese is golden brown, about 10 minutes.