Week number 3 of my New year's pledge to go meatless once a week. And they said I couldn't stick with it. But oddly enough, I've had a few tasty dishes so far, so no sacrifice at all. And this is no exception.
Filled with taste and a variety of flavors, this dish taught me quite a bit about eggplant.
For instance, did you know that the seeds in the plant are filled with bitter liquid. That liquid needs to be leeched out before you can get the best taste from your vegetable...
First, cut the rind off the eggplant. Then slice the plant into 1/3 inch slices/
Next, lay out all the slices flat and salt them. Always be polite and stick your little pinky out while you grind the salt.
Salt both sides, then stand the slices up in a colander. The salt will "leech" out the bitter liquid. It took about 45 minutes and...
And, it's hard to tell from this photo, but about a teaspoon of liquid did indeed drip out.
And to top it off, just before you start the dredging process for the egg plant, take a paper towel and pat the slices dry.
OK, we are ready to start cooking... here's what you need...
I made individual stacks, so I am giving the measurements for 1 serving. Of course, you can double, triple or multiply by 20 if you need that many...
5 Eggplant slices, leeched
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 egg, whisked
1/2 cup flour
Enough Canola oil to coat 1/4 inch of a frying pan
1 cup Marinara Sauce (I used my winter fast and easy tomato sauce)
5 slices of Mozzarella Cheese
2 TBS fresh grated Parmesan Cheese
I put mine on a bed of pasta, Jackie preferred hers without the pasta. your choice.
Get your oil hot over medium heat before starting to dredge. Once the slices go in the oil, you want them cooked fast so they do not get oily tasting.
As I said, dry each slice with a paper towel. Set up three bowls, flour, egg and finally bread crumbs. Coat each slice in the flour. Then, put each slice in the egg dip. Finally, coat each with the bread crumbs. Put into the oil and brown each side...
Next, it's time to layer the dish. I wanted single serve towers. You can easily do everything in a large oven safe pan and only have a couple layers.
One slice of eggplant
topped with one slice of cheese
topped with a heaping TBS of Sauce
Add the Parmesan over the top...
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes...
And if you serve on a bed of pasta, with a simple drizzle of White Truffle Oil, you have a very tasty, very filling meal!