Breaded Eggplant with Summer Salad

Here’s another idea for eggplant.  Receiving two in one week in our single share was unprecedented, and I must admit, I wasn’t super excited about it.  I like eggplant but it’s kind of a pain to work with and outside of my creative space.  I struggled to do something that my husband wouldn’t roll his eyes over since I served eggplant two days in a row (I’ll share the other recipe another day).  This recipe is a modified version of one that appeared in the latest issue of Whole Living and it definitely fit the bill.  No eye rolling – just a ‘clean’ plate.

Breaded Eggplant with Summer Salad
Serves 2-3

1 large eggplant, cut into rounds
1/4 c flour
1 large egg, whisked with 1 tbsp water
2 c panko bread crumbs (or coarse homemade)
Olive oil, for frying
Extra virgin olive oil, for salad
2 c baby arugula
1 large mozzarella ball (or better yet – buffalo mozzarella)
1 c assorted tomatoes, cut into 1/3 inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon wedges, for serving

Arrange eggplant in a large colander and season generously with salt. Let stand 30 minutes then rinse and pat dry. (For the record, I totally forgot to do this and it turned out fine – but if you have time, it would definitely help draw out the moisture).

Divide flour, egg mixture, and breadcrumbs among 3 shallow bowls. Dip each eggplant slice, turning to coat and shaking off excess, in the flour, then egg mixture, then breadcrumbs.

Heat 1/4 inch of oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, and, working in batches, fry eggplant until golden and crisp, about 4 minutes per side. If you have to do two batches, the second batch will definitely take less time – check for color after 2 minutes per side.

Transfer cooked eggplant to a paper towel lined plate and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, mix your salad. Put arugula in a bowl and top with mozzarella and tomatoes. Squeeze over 1/4 lemon and 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, season with salt and pepper, then toss.

Serve eggplant with summer salad and lemon wedges.

*Note – I never fry anything at home. Never. It seems messy and dangerous. I decided to give this a chance because I really didn’t want to waste the eggplant and I wanted to try something different. Frying at a medium heat wasn’t hectic and didn’t create a mess. I let the oil cool for a few hours after frying then poured it into the trash. It really wasn’t a hassle. And the recipe is delicious – try it!!


5 responses to “Breaded Eggplant with Summer Salad

  1. My favorite eggplant dish is Pasta Alla Norma. I can’t wait to have this each summer. It is also wonderful the next day at room temp. Here is Jamie Oliver’s version: ( I actually like the long thin eggplants better)
    2 large, firm eggplants
    extra-virgin olive oil
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    optional: 1 dried red chili, crumbled
    4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
    a large bunch of fresh basil, stems finely chopped, leaves reserved
    1 teaspoon good herb or white wine vinegar
    2 14-ounce cans of good-quality chopped plum tomatoes, or 2 cups passata
    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
    1 pound dried spaghetti
    6 ounces salted ricotta
    First of all, get your nice firm eggplants and cut them into quarters lengthwise. If they’ve got seedy, fluffy centers, remove them and chuck them away. Then cut the eggplants across the length, into finger-sized pieces. Get a large nonstick pan nice and hot and add a little oil. Fry the eggplants in two batches, adding a little extra oil if you need to. Give the eggplants a toss so the oil coats every single piece and then sprinkle with some of the dried oregano—this will make them taste fantastic. Using a pair of tongs, turn the pieces of eggplant until golden on all sides. Remove to a plate and do the same with the second batch.
    When the eggplants are all cooked, add the first batch back to the pan—at this point I sometimes add a sneaky dried red chili. Turn the heat down to medium and add a little oil, the garlic, and the basil stems. Stir so everything gets evenly cooked, then add a swig of herb vinegar and the cans of tomatoes, which you can chop or whiz up. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, then taste and correct the seasoning. Tear up half the basil leaves, add to the sauce, and toss around.
    Get your spaghetti into a pan of salted boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. When it’s al dente, drain it in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water, and put it back into the pan. Add the Norma sauce and a little of the reserved cooking water and toss together back on the heat. Taste, and adjust the seasoning, then divide between your plates by twizzling the pasta into a ladle for each portion. Any sauce left in the pan can be spooned over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining basil, grated cheese, and oil.

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  2. Thanks to you both for the egg plant recipes! They sound reasonably easy which I like. I tried eggplant Parmesan once and ran out of counterspace and table space. I hate to have to wash up before I can serve a meal. In my next life I’ll have “help” 🙂 Bev

  3. Nice quick summer meal for a hot day. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Pingback: Breaded Eggplant with Summer Salad | Monroe Organic Farms | ClubEvoo

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