Eggplant that anyone can love


Eggplant can be a tricky vegetable. If not cooked properly it can taste odd and bitter, and the texture can be unpleasantly slimy and spongy. But…if cooked properly, it can be most delicious. After years of perfecting my eggplant-cooking technique, I’ve arrived at the best recipe in the entire universe! Well, probably not, but it is really good, and it does tend to appeal to people who don’t believe they like eggplant. The eggplant is sliced thinly, marinated with balsamic and herbs, and then dipped in egg & breadcrumbs. Typically I use a mixture of herbed flour and breadcrumbs, but I’ve also used cornmeal, oatmeal, semolina, and nuts, and it’s all good! It’s oven-fried…baked on a sheet covered with oil, until it’s crispy and light. These slices of eggplant can be used in a million different ways. They’re good with various different sauces and good bread. They’re good cut into pieces or layered whole in savory pastries. If you slice the eggplant lengthy-wise you can roll them up around various fillings, and rebake them with a sauce or without. Good on pizza, good with pasta, good with roman gnocchi…

Eggplant, spinach, mozzarella pie

Here’s Dr. West’s Medicine Show and Junk Band with The Eggplant that Ate Chicago. Maybe this is why eggplant got a bad name!

1 largish eggplant
2 – 3 T balsamic vinegar
3 – 4 T olive oil (+/-) you want enough to lightly coat each piece
1 clove garlic
1-2 eggs
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 cup flour
herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano)

Olive oil for the sheets.

1. Peel four long slices of skin, lengthwise, and then cut the eggplant in 1/4 inch slices. You can cut crosswise to make circles, or lengthwise to make long slices, depending on your intentions for the finished epplant.

2. Put the slices in a shallow dish and shake some salt over them. Leave them for at least 1/2 hour, and then try to blot up the eggplant juices that the salt has brought out.

3. Put olive oil, balsamic, 1 crushed garlic clove, and rosemary and basil in with the eggplant slices. (Use more or less oil & vinegar depending on the size of your eggplant) Turn them from time to time, to be sure that every surface gets a chance to soak up the marinade. Leave for at least 1/2 hour.

4. Preheat the oven to 425. Put a thin layer of oil on a baking sheet.

5. Beat an egg and put it into a shallow bowl. Combine flour, breadcrumbs, herbs, and pepper in another bowl. Dip each piece of eggplant in the egg, to coat both sides, and then in the breadcrumbs, to coat both sides.

6. Bake for about 1/2 hour, turning the slices every once in a while, until they are browned and crispy.

23 thoughts on “Eggplant that anyone can love

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  19. Recipes like this are annoying, the quantities in the ingredients doesn’t match the quantities in the method.

    • Sorry about that. I think I’ve fixed it. It’s hard with this recipe because the quantities really depend on how big your eggplant is. As the recipe says, you want enough to lightly coat each piece of eggplant.

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