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
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!!