For some strange reason, when I saw eggplant at the farmers market last weekend I decided I wanted to make eggplant parmigiana. This is strange for me, because I’ve not made parmigiana before, and I don’t really do fried foods. But I had a hankering and my nutritionist tells me I should listen to my cravings. I also had a bottle of my first ever home-made passata and some mozzarella left over from Monday night pizzas. I’m certainly glad I listened to this hankering because the result was delicious. I also think the fried eggplant is delicious without the tomato and cheese, if you’re looking for an interesting way to serve the vegetable.
|1||cup||fresh breadcrumbs or panko|
|oil for frying|
|1||tablespoon||chopped fresh herbs (oregano, basil, parsley)|
|1/2||cup||grated mozzarella cheese|
Cut the eggplant into round slices approximately one centimetre thick and sprinkle with salt.
Place the flour in a plastic bag.
Crack the egg into a bowl and beat well.
Place the breadcrumbs in another plastic bag.
Place the eggplant slices in the bag of flour and shake so the slices are evenly coated.
One at a time, take the slices from the flour and dip them in the egg, then shake them in the breadcrumb bag and set aside.
Heat a few centimetres of oil on high in a small frying pan. You want the oil so hot that when you drop a breadcrumb in it sizzles straight away. Fry the eggplant in batches, until it is dark gold on both sides. Remove the eggplant from the pan and leave to drain on a wire rack or paper towel.
Choose 6 of the best eggplant circles. Arrange three of them in a row, on an oven proof tray, with each one slightly overlapping the other. Repeat with the remaining three circles. These are the base of your parmigiana.
Preheat the griller/broiler to high.
Sprinkle the herbs over the top of each. Spoon on the passata, not letting it go all the way to the edges of the eggplant, but ensuring there is tomato on each of the three circles. Sprinkle over the cheese and grill/broil until the cheese is melted and golden. Serve immediately with a green salad.