Fried Eggplant is one of the most versatile recipes. When paired with classic Caprese ingredients - fresh garden tomatoes, slices of fresh, soft mozzarella cheese, and bright green basil - the result is a complete meal!
Course Main Course
Prep Time 30minutes
Cook Time 20minutes
Total Time 50minutes
2 ½cupsbread crumbsregular or italian seasoned
½cupgrated Romano or pecorino cheese
½cupsfreshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
1teaspoonfresh ground black pepper
½teaspoonred pepper flakes
1large or 2 medium eggplants
3ripe garden tomatoessliced
Small bunch fresh basiltorn into bite size pieces
Small store-bought bottle of Balsamic Glazeoptional
Peel the eggplant skin in stripes. This removes half of the skin and leaves some on for better flavor.
Slice eggplant in 1/2 inch round, thick slices. Liberally salt both sides and place the slices in a colander standing up (not flat). This helps them to drain. Place a plate on top and weigh down with a heavy item ( i.e. a large can tomatoes or ceramic container). Place the colander on a plate to catch the liquid. Let drain for 60 minutes.
Rinse the eggplant slices under cold water to remove the salt and pat/squeeze dry. The purpose of the salting is to remove bitterness and to helps the sponge-like texture from getting too greasy when frying.
Set up breading station: Mix flour and salt and place on a plate, beat eggs with milk in a small bowl, and mix the breadcrumbs, cheeses, black and red pepper in another shallow bowl. Coat both sides of one eggplant slice in flour, then dip in the eggs, and finally in the breadcrumb mixture. Continue breading all the eggplant slices. Set aside while oil is heating.
Heat both oils in a large skillet on the stovetop over medium heat. Cooking in batches, add breaded eggplant slices and fry on both sides until lightly golden and crispy. Drain cooked slices on paper towels.
Serve the Fried Eggplant with sliced tomatoes, slices mozzarella and torn leaves of fresh basil. You can assemble as a salad, a sandwich or an antipasto platter. Garnish with drizzled balsamic glaze.