An Italian American who loves to share food and travel adventures
“E” Is For Eggplant
June 5, 2017
Have you ever played word games like charades, or Scattergories? Recently a friend on Facebook challenged her friends to play Scattergories with a twist – using the first letter of their last name to fill in various categories. Since the first letter of my last name starts with an “E” every category in the Scattergories challenge had to start with an “E”. Not as easy as you might think (sans using Google). Some of the categories were hard to figure out (drink, name of a movie, etc.) But when it came to the food category I had it! Eggplant was the obvious choice for me.
Do you notice what looks like pin holes in the eggplant? With all of the slicing that needs to be done with almost any recipe, I’ve been auditioning mandolins to see which one would work best for the majority of my slicing needs. I’ve watched the videos, and read the reviews, but so far I’ve purchased and returned three different brands. None of them worked well enough for my needs so I think I’m giving up and just slicing my vegetables the old fashioned way – with a knife.
Dip in egg.
Dredge through cheese and spices.
Lay out on a baking sheet.
Eggplant bakes up crisp-ish.
Top with shredded mozzarella. The eggplant can be eaten as an appetizer or snack just like chips.
Spread the sliced eggplant in a single layer onto paper towels. (I have skipped this step sometimes and didn't notice a big difference.) Generously salt the eggplant and let it sit for 15 minutes. Flip the eggplant, salt the other side, and let sit for another 15 minutes. Rinse the eggplant with water and pat dry with clean paper towels.
Combine the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, dried basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder in a shallow dish. In a separate dish, lightly beat the eggs with the water.
Dip the eggplant slices in the egg and then the breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides.
Brush a foil-lined sheet pan with the olive oil and spread it around to cover the whole pan. Place the eggplant in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Bake for 15 minutes, flip, then bake for an additional 10 minutes on the other side. Spoon sauce onto each slice and top with shredded cheese.
Return to the oven and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Top with fresh basil right before serving.
Depending on the thickness of your slices, you may need to adjust the baking times up or down.