Making eggplant taste good begins with picking a younger or smaller specimen. It would not have had as much time to make seeds, which is where the bitterness resides, a younger eggplant is also less stringy and fibrous. They hold a lot of water and brown quickly after cutting. To prevent browning rub with fresh-cut lemon, to reduce the amount of water, salt all cut sides well and let si in a colander for about an hour. If it still is soggy, you can press with a paper towel as well.
In this version I used pre-made marinara sauce, its okay to have a helping hand, and I used provolone and parmesan instead of mozzarella and parm. I’m a big fan of using what you have. I also have to use my second least favorite preparation in the kitchen in this recipe, the breading station. My first least favorite thing is fabricating of meat. Anyway enough complaining, what I was getting to is that I take every chance I can to put flavor in the recipe. In the original recipe from “The Joy of Cooking” it says to just use flour to dredge and then fresh bread crumbs. I added salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder to te flour mixture, and italian herbs to the bread crumbs.
1 sm-med eggplant, sliced in 1/4 inch slices, salted and dried off
1/4 c olive oil, separated
1/3 c flour
1 tsp of each, salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder
2 pcs of white sandwich, food processed into crumbs
1 tsp italian herbs, fresh is better, but dried will work as well
3-4 slices provolone, or shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 c grated parmesan, some can be sliced for garnish
1 jar of marinara sauce, or homemade if you prefer, but at another time for me.
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- About an hour before dinner time, slice, lemon and salt eggplant. Let sit in a colander to let the water come out.
- Pat dry with a paper towel. Prepare the breading station by whisking three eggs and 1 T oil, mix the flour with the spices and stir, and crumb the bread in the food processor. I put them on plastic plates so I can throw them away when I am done with it.
- Keeping one hand in the dry stuff and one hand in the wet, or use a fork as much as possible. Dip the eggplant slices first the flour and knock the extra off, dip in the egg wash, and finally the bread crumbs. Set aside to finish the rest before starting to fry them.
- Heat the pan on medium high heat and add the remaining oil. Make sure to use a large enough pan that there is plenty of room to fit all of the pieces or fry in stages. Place on a sheet pan.
- Place the cheeses on the top and brown till bubbly.
- Heat the sauce in a pan and puddle some on the plate, place the eggplant over the sauce and sprinkle the sliced parm for garnish.
I’m a wife, mother, pastry chef and amatuer gardner. I travel as much as possible, can what I grow, and taste as many new things as possible.