Meatless Monday just got even tastier with a lightened air fryer version of an Italian favourite: eggplant parmesan. The patties can be breaded up to a day in advance making this a perfect weeknight dish. The most important trick when cooking eggplant is to salt the eggplant. Allowing the eggplant to rest at room temperature with salt will draw out excess moisture and ensure it cooks up tender. Simply wipe off any excess water and salt before breading.
Line a baking sheet with a paper towel. Sprinkle 2 teaspoons salt on both side of the eggplant slices and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature for a minimum of 30 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel and wipe away excess salt before breading.
In a small mixing bowl stir together the bread crumbs, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper to taste.
Coat each slice of eggplant with flour, dip in egg wash and toss in breadcrumb mixture. Shake off any excess flour or breadcrumbs as you go. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
Brush both sides of the eggplant lightly with olive oil or cooking spray. Working in batches, cook in the air fryer at 400°F for 5 minutes on each side.
Top each eggplant slice with a heaping tablespoon of sauce followed by a sprinkle of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake for an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until the cheese is fully melted.
Serve with additional sauce if desired and garnish with fresh herbs.