Eggplants can be prepared in so many ways. They are so versatile and also highly nutritious.
Their rich flavor and texture blends well with a lot of ingredients which makes them the perfect addition in many dishes.
One of the best-known eggplant dishes is the eggplant parmesan; a popular Italian dish that consists of layers of crispy fried eggplants dressed in sauce and topped with cheese.
A lesser known but also rich eggplant recipe is eggplant Florentine. This dish is a variation of the popular chicken Florentine, where eggplant is used in place of chicken.
Each of these dishes features slices of eggplants dressed in a rich sauce.
So how can you tell them apart?
In this post, we compare these two eggplant dishes and highlight what makes them different.
Difference between eggplant florentine and parmesan
Both dishes are highly flavorful recipes where the main ingredient is eggplant, however, each of these dishes has its peculiarities.
Eggplants parmesan is made with layers of breaded and fried eggplant slices topped with marinara sauce, mozzarella cheese and baked in an oven.
In Eggplant Florentine, the fried eggplants are coated with cooked spinach and a cheese sauce.
What is eggplant florentine?
Florentine or à la Florentine is a term that refers to Florentine-style dishes.
The Italian region of Florence is known for dishes that often compose of a base of meat, poultry or fish, and are topped with creamy spinach and cheese sauce.
Chicken Florentine is a common variant where the main ingredient is chicken.
In Eggplant Florentine, the eggplants are the primary ingredient.
Fresh eggplants are sliced to half an inch thickness, breaded, and then sauteed or baked until browned and crispy.
These eggplants are then seared in a sauce consisting of spinach, white wine, heavy cream, parmesan cheese and butter on the stovetop. They can also be broiled in an oven.
This dish may be seasoned with basil, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper. Some recipes add tomatoes too.
Eggplant florentine could be eaten on its own or in a sandwich. It can also be used as an appetizer.
What is eggplant Parmesan?
Eggplant parmesan is also known as Parmigiana di melanzane.
It a southern Italian casserole dish where layers of crispy fried slices of eggplant are dressed with tomatoes sauce and cheese.
Chicken parmesan is the Italian American variant that is made up layers of fried cutlets.
In Eggplant parmesan, eggplant is used.
This old recipe is made with layers of eggplant slices; Panko breadcrumbs are also used to give the eggplant slices a crispy texture.
Traditionally, the casserole is made with fresh mozzarella cheese despite its name.
Marinara sauce or any other tomato sauce could be used.
The eggplants are sliced to a 1/2-inch thickness.
The slices are also salted before frying to draw out the moisture from the eggplants. This helps the eggplant slices to absorbs less oil which also helps with the desired texture.
The salted slices are allowed to sit for a few minutes on a paper towel after which the excess salt is wiped off.
These slices of eggplant are then dipped in beaten eggs and breadcrumbs before being fried
The fried eggplant slices are layered in a casserole or baking dish.
Marinara sauce is spread in-between the layers of breaded eggplant. The dish is also topped with more marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese.
Parmesan cheese, dried oregano and other seasoning could also be added to this dish.
The dish is baked in an oven until it is golden brown. It can then be served as a side dish or used in sandwiches.