This baked eggplant recipe is a stunner substitute for fried eggplant, because occasionally we really should try and NOT fry all our vegetables.
Me to Rahul: “Here’s an idea.”
Me: “Let’s bake that eggplant to eat with the burgers since we don’t have anything else planned. And the eggplant is going to go bad.”
Rahul, with slight suspicion: “Okay.”
That’s how it started. Did it end well? I said yes, Rahul said, “It’s not for me.”
I don’t think it’s anything with the recipe, just the fact that eggplant, in our shared opinion, is not very flavorful and isn’t picked up that often. At first I really wanted to beer-batter and fry those little circles, but in an effort to use less oil and to really embrace the eggplant, I decided to oven-fry it.
My eggplant circles are not even. Like thick on one end and thin on the other. The wax skin is hard to cut through and wouldn’t work in my mandolin so I used a knife. Had they all been of similar thinness they probably would have come out crispier. Next time I’ll sharpen my knife and try to catch the eggplant closer to ripeness.
Baked Eggplant Recipe
Adapted from Cook with Kerry
Serves: 3-4 as a side dish
- 1 eggplant, washed and sliced, each 1/4″ thick
- 3/4 c breadcrumbs
- 1/4 c parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 c flour
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Take a clean baking sheet and line with slices of eggplant. Salt them liberally and wait 15 minutes to extract moisture. Blot with a paper towel.
- Set up a batter station – flour in one bowl, whisked eggs in another, and bread crumbs with parmesan cheese in the last one. Dredge eggplant in flour and wipe off excess. Cover with egg and then dip the eggplant in the breadcrumb mixture.
- Spray a cooking spray onto the baking sheet and add the battered eggplant in rows (just don’t let them overlap). Bake for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through.