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Crispy Baked Eggplant

16 Oct

Eggplant, oh how I love thee!
For those of you who enjoy the greatness of eggplant, you should definitely give this recipe a whirl. For the rest of you, those who are yet realize that you are a fan, this is where it will begin.

First for a little eggplant education, thanks to Amanda of C&L Farms. Have you ever wondered why some eggplant are full of seeds and others aren’t?  While I was out shopping at the local produce stand the other day I was informed that there is infact male and female eggplants. Who knew! Well, as you might guess the females are the ones full of seeds. The males have seeds in them as well, just not near as many. The females, with all of their seeds pack a stronger, more bitter taste than the males do. It is strictly a matter of preference as to which one you like. I know for me I lean more towards the male.

So, how can you tell the difference without cutting into the fruit, yes I said fruit, eggplant is a fruit not a vegetable? The male eggplant has a dash-like marking on the bottom while the female has round indention or dimple marking. In the picture below the female is on the right and the male is on the left. The marking isn’t always a clear, sometimes it is more like a combination of the two.

 

I have baked eggplant numerous times, most of the time it turns out nicely. I have always used the standard combination of eggwash first, then breadcrumbs, seasonings and cheese. Spray a pan with non-stick spray, add the breaded eggplant, spray the eggplant with spray and toss it into the oven. Very easy, and just as common. I wanted to make this eggplant great! I was trying  to achieve a crispy crunch on the outside while leaving the inside soft and creamy without overcooking this delicate vegetable.  My mission was successful 🙂 this recipe is not as healthy as it usually is when I bake it, but it is still much more heart and figure friendly than the fried version that is served at most restaurants.

Okay, my secret weapon is mayonnaise. Now, I do not use mayo very often and I have never really cared much for it. I almost never use it as a condiment but I am finding it is addition to certain recipes and this is definitely one of them. I actually prefer this method of preparing the breaded eggplant over the fried version, even if the health benefits weren’t at stake!

As you can see I served the eggplant over pasta and a simple tomato sauce. It would also be fabulous served as an appetizer or side dish. You could cut the eggplant into sticks and then follow the same directions and serve them with a spicy yogurt dipping sauce or a marinara.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplant
  • 2 cups of Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried  parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried garlic
  • sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 generous Tablespoon of mayo
  • olive oil (enough for drizzling & coating the pan)

Directions

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  • Line a cookie sheet with foil lightly spray with non-stick spray and grease with olive oil
  • Beat the eggs and mayo together
  • In a separate bowl or large plate mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper together
  • Slice the eggplant into 1 inch thick slices
  • Dunk in the egg/mayo mixture, shaking of any excess
  • Dredge in the breadcrumb mix, be sure to coat all sides evenly & place on cookie sheet
  • Drizzle olive oil on the eggplant (side facing up) about 1-2 Tablespoons
  • Bake 12-15 minutes, carefully flip the eggplant, try not to puncture while flipping
  • Return to the oven for an additional 12-15 minutes
  • Garnish with freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese!

I always love feedback! So, let me know how you like this dish! I assure you, this is Good Vittles!

 

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Posted by on October 16, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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