Healthy, but also not healthy at the same time.
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Freshly ground black pepper
5 large eggs
3 tablespoons whole milk
4 cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Vegetable oil, for frying, as needed, about 1 1/2 to 2 cups
1 jar tomato sauce of your choice
1 1/2 pounds mozzarella cheese, cut into thin slices
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 pound provolone cheese, grated
2 handfuls fresh basil, leaves only, torn
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Wash and cut the eggplants into 1/2 inch slices.
3. Put the flour in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk and season with salt and pepper. In a third bowl, combine the breadcrumbs with the oregano and fresh thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper.
4. Dip each eggplant slice in the flour and shake off any excess. Then, dip in the egg mixture, and finally in the breadcrumbs. Make sure to coat both sides of each slice of eggplant. Arrange them in single layers on a large baking sheet.
5. In a large skillet, pour enough oil to accumulate about 1/2-inch in the bottom. Heat the oil until it begins to smoke lightly.
6. Use a pair of kitchen tongs to add a single layer of the eggplant to the pan. Cook them until they are golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from the oil and transfer to a baking sheet fitted with a kitchen towel so the eggplant can drain as the others cook. Season lightly with salt. Take care to reheat the oil back up to temperature before adding another batch of slices to the pan.
7. In a large baking dish, spoon about enough tomato sauce to coat the bottom. Top with a layer of the fried eggplant; the eggplant slices can overlap slightly. Top with about 1/3 of the mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with about 1/4 of the Parmesan and provolone cheeses. Top with a layer of torn basil leaves. Spoon more sauce and repeat the layering 2 more times to make 3 layers. End with the remaining mozzarella. Carefully press the layers down firmly into the dish once assembled.
8. Place the dish in the top part of the oven and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbly, 35 to 40 minutes.