Grandma Saviano Double Fried Eggplant

by Anthony Speciale
(Pine Brook, NJ 07058 USA)

Grandma Saviano’s Eggplant


  • 2-3 med. –large purple eggplants, firm and not too fat on one end.
  • Home made tomato sauce;
  • 1 32oz can of Italian whole tomatoes,
  • 2 cloves garlic, salt, pepper, and fresh basil.
  • Plain bread crumbs – must be plain
  • Vegetable oil or very light olive oil
  • About 5 eggs


  • Wash eggplant under water, Pell off skin and cut off ends
  • Cut into heavy 0.25 inch slices across eggplants, salt slightly heavy on each side of each piece and lie in a strainer with a dish under strainer to catch juices, over laying each other piece, place a smaller dish on top of eggplant center and add a weight on top, let sit for 1 hour to allow purple juices to come out.
  • Make gravy (Sauce) in a 3 qt pot, heat on mid-low,
  • Add some olive oil just too almost cover bottom of pot.
  • Finely chop 2 cloves of fresh garlic.
  • Open tomato can and put in blender, blend on low until all tomatoes have blended completely.
  • Add garlic to pot, simmer slowly do not burn garlic about 1 minute, add tomatoes from blender to pot, and salt, pepper, pitch of sugar and stir,
  • Add basil about 10 leaves, cook for 1 hour under mid-low heat, stir often.
  • When done it should be cooked down a little, if the gravy looks watery then cook 20 minutes more, then turn off and set a side to cool un-covered.

  • Check to see if eggplant juices have come out on bottom dish under strainer, if so, then remove eggplant one at a time and rinse under cold water to remove remaining salt, put 4 pieces to gather and squeeze out water between you two hands, after all pieces of eggplant has been rinsed and squeeze it’s time to fry.
  • Add vegetable oil in frying pan about 0.25 inch dept, put heat on mid-high and wait until oil is hot, lower flam to mid and place 4 pieces of eggplant in pan (plain), fry both sides to lightly tan, place fried eggplant pieces on clean brown paper to drain oil, as you’re frying the other pieces start lightly bread crumbing the eggplant pieces that you have already fried on both sides.
  • Set aside until all pieces of eggplant have been fried and bread crumbed.
  • Beat well- 5 eggs add salt and pepper, lower frying pan to mid-low add more vegetable oil if needed, reheat oil first if needed then dip one piece of breaded eggplant into eggs, then refry eggplant on both sides again, fry until golden on both side, remove and set on clean paper to drain oil.
  • When all eggplant pieces are done frying, turn off heat under pan.
  • In a casserole dish add some gravy to bottom from gravy pot, sprinkle some graded cheese on gravy, place one pieces of fried eggplant at a time to cover bottom of the casserole dish, add more gravy on top of eggplant to cover completely and more cheese,
  • Add more eggplant on top of the first layer again add gravy and cheese, continue until all eggplant is used up, then add more gravy to fill sides or gaps and on top, add graded cheese to top also.
  • You’re done! Let set aside 1/2 hour before serving. The longer it sets the better it tastes.

    You can re-heat in oven at 300 deg. 1/2 hour covered, or uncovered if the gravy seems a little watery. Its worth all this work and time.

    Do not short cut any steps.......

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    Mar 22, 2010
    Grand,a Saviano 's eggplant
    by: Anonymous

    I have had the pleasure of eating this eggplant dish made straight from grandma Saviano. Tony has been able to duplicate it. Every time he serves this dish, you will hear "I have never tasted anything like it." His guests always look forward to having this dish served at his home! When you take the time to make this dish it is a great idea to make enough that you can freeze a casserole dish so you have it for another evening's dinner. I think it even tastes better after being frozen. Try it you will love it!!!

    Mar 20, 2010
    Eggplant that taste like eggplant
    by: Anonymous

    Could not stop eating this eggplant dish, also great left over in a Italian roll, great flavor!!!

    Mar 19, 2010
    grandma saviano eggplant
    by: Rick E.

    This dish is awesome!!

    Mar 19, 2010
    Eggplant better than my own Grandma's
    by: Raymond Sarinelli

    I have had the pleasure of being served Grandma Saviano Double Fried Eggplant. Talk about mouth watering. The intense fresh eggplant flavor that Chef Tony gets from this process is spectacular. He has served it at several special event dinners that he has hosted at his home. When I know he is serving grandmas eggplant I go deep into my wine cellar to bring out one of my best pinot's to go with his dish. Chef Tony normally serves this dish as the second course, just as your pallet is waking up. Then, BAM you get this intense fresh eggplant flavor with the perfect texture. Not tough, but certainly not mushy, just very unique. Chase it down with a little cult pinot noir and it is culinary heaven. When I have asked him about the recipe in the past he was always a little vague, but I guess he is ready to share his secrets. Trust me, I have tasted a lot of eggplant dishes over the past 56 years but none is better than Chef Tony's Double Fried. Sorry Grandma.

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