Italian Fried Eggplant

Italian Fried Eggplant

I’m channeling my inner Italian Grandmother with this Italian Fried Eggplant. I love replacing meat in dishes with eggplant, it’s a meatier and hardier type vegetable so it can stand up to ragu’s or frying.

I know eggplant can be one of those intimidating vegetables to cook up, but I promise you with a couple easy tips it’s really simple.

 The first tip for cooking up eggplant is salting it and letting it rest before cooking. This allows all the water to escape so it doesn’t get mushy during the cooking process. I salt my eggplant and let it sit on a wire rack for 15 minutes and wipe them dry with paper towels before cooking. No need to season either because they soak up the salt, leaving it perfectly seasoned.

The second tip is don’t over cook it, frying takes literally minutes to cook. The thicker the slices the firmer it’ll be and can hold up to the high temperature of frying. I usually cut mine about 3/4 inch thick. Yep, they’re big boys. But seriously, I’ve tried it thinner and it just turns out over cooked. Like an Italian Grandmother would say, you want this “al dente”.

A couple of components in this dish make for a delicious Italian meal; fresh pesto cream sauce, ripe cut cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and grated parmesan..lots of grated parmesan. Don’t be shy.

Warning: this dish is highly delicious and will leave you salivating for weeks.

Not for the faint of heart.

Wine Pairing Recommendation: Prosecco, bubbles always goes with fried food and prosecco has this soft citrus thing happening that will compliment the pesto sauce beautifully.

Italian Fried Eggplant

Italian Fried Eggplant

28 May, 2017
: 4
: 15 min
: 20 min
: 35 min
: Easy

The trick to eggplant is that you have to pre-salt it and let it rest to draw out the moisture before cooking it. Ensuring the eggplant won't get mushy during the cooking process.

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 whole Eggplants, cut into 3/4 inch slices {8 slices}
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 2 whole Eggs, whisked
  • 2 1/2 cups Panko
  • 4 ounces Fresh Mozzarella, cut into 4 slices
  • 2 tablespoons Fresh Pesto
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • Parmesan Cheese, grated for garnish
  • Canola Oil, for frying
Directions
  • Step 1 Salt each side of eggplant slices, allow to stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to draw out the moisture. Pat dry.
  • Step 2 Preheat canola oil in a heavy bottomed cast iron pan or pot to 325 degrees F {about 1 1/2 inches of oil in the bottom}.
  • Step 3 Create your dredging station. Place flour in a shallow dish, whisk the 2 eggs in another shallow dish and place panko in a shallow dish. Dredge each slice of eggplant in the flour {shake off excess}, dip in egg and crust with panko. Place each slice on a sheet pan until ready to fry.
  • Step 4 Working in batches fry the eggplant until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. It goes quick so keep an eye on it.
  • Step 5 Remove eggplant to a paper towel lined sheet pan to drain.
  • Step 6 Make the pesto sauce. Whisk together pesto and heavy cream. Simmer on low for 5 minutes until thickened. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Step 7 Assemble your stacks. Layer pesto sauce, one slice of eggplant, a layer of sliced mozzarella, another slice of eggplant and top with cherry tomatoes and plenty of grated parmesan.
  • Step 8 Serve immediately and enjoy!

This dish is so easy to put together and you won’t believe how delicious eggplant is this way.

Italian Fried Eggplant

Savor and Enjoy!



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