Recipe: Breaded Eggplant with Herbed Tomato Topping

Breaded Eggplant with Fresh Tomato Topping

Breaded Eggplant with Fresh Tomato Topping

Breading is a good way to begin getting to know eggplant, since the breadcrumb coating adds familiar flavor and a nice texture.  Those who are experienced eggplant eaters will also like the possibilities presented by a nice breaded eggplant fillet.  Layer, roll or top with different sauces, cheeses and nuts for some fast but interesting meals.  In this recipe, the eggplant is topped with a fresh tomato mixture that is just barely cooked, so it remains very fresh tasting.  In terms of timing, it can be helpful to prepare the topping ingredients first, but wait to cook them until the eggplant is baking so they don’t get overcooked.

Breaded Eggplant with Herbed Tomato Topping

Preheat oven to 400 (F). 

Slathering the eggplant into the herb mayonnaise wash

Slathering the eggplant into the herb mayonnaise wash

Step 1:  Prepare the “Wash”  In a wide cereal bowl, whisk together with a fork:

  • 1 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. milk (cow, goat or soy)
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

To this mixture, stir in:

  • 1/2 to 1 cup freshly chopped basil (or a combination of basil, parsley, thyme and oregano, with basil being the predominant herb)

Step 2:  Prepare the Breadcrumbs  On a dinner plate, spread

Slicing the eggplant 1/2" thick

Slicing the eggplant 1/2" thick

Step 3:  Prepare the Eggplant  Slice:

  • 2 small eggplant or 1 medium eggplant into 1/2″ rounds

Step 4:  Bread the Eggplant   Lightly oil a cookie sheet with olive oil.  Using your hands, slather each eggplant slice with the mayonnaise wash, then lay each side in crumbs, lightly patting crumbs so they stick into the wash.  Lay on oiled cookie sheet.

Step 5:  Bake  Place cookie sheet in oven and bake eggplant about 5-10 minutes, until slices are lightly browned and tender when stuck with a fork.  Remove slices to a serving platter.  While eggplant bakes, prepare Tomato Topping. 

Step 6 Prepare Quick-Cook Tomato Topping

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lrg. onion (preferably sweet) diced to ¼”
  • 4-6 med. cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (more or less, to taste)

Bake eggplant until lightly browned and tender when stuck with a fork

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until lightly browned.  Add garlic and pepper flakes and saute another couple minutes, then stir in the following:

  • 2 cups vine-ripe, farmers market tomatoes cut into ½ -1” dice (or 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Bring to a simmer and cook just 5 minutes until tomatoes just begin to soften.  Remove from heat promptly and stir in:

  • ½ cup fresh, chopped basil (or the same mixture of herbs used in mayonnaise wash)

Step 7:  Assemble and Serve  Top each baked eggplant slice with a spoonful of tomato topping and serve immediately with:

  • Freshly grated Parmesan or crumbled feta cheese (optional garnish)
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2 Responses

  1. Mary Hi and happy fall! Bev Gay from the Monroe farms cooking class. My bottle of Canola oil is almost empty and we had a discussion of oils pros and cons. What did you suggest we purchase instead of Canola oil?I have a good Olive oil already but I don’t use it for everything. I need a choice that will take the temperature of wok cooking Many thanks!

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    • Great to hear from you Bev. Besides olive oil, which I use for the bulk of my dishes, I’ve been gravitating to sunflower and safflower oils. Both are neutral-flavored, so good for dishes where I don’t want olive oil’s flavor, e.g., Indian, Thai and Chinese dishes. Both also have high smoke points so they can double as stir-fry oils, and they are reasonably priced.
      There are quite a lot of oils out there these days, from grape and almond to peanut and sesame. I enjoyed reading the Wikipedia entry on “smoke points,” and seeing how they varied that way. There is also a big difference in refined vs. unrefined versions, the former having much higher smoke points. Besides smoke points, I consider the oil’s flavor, its healthfulness, its source (e.g, sustainable, fairly traded, etc.), and price. For now, those factors are leading me to a duo of olive and sunflower/safflower as my workhorses. But I always continue to stay open to experimentation. That’s what keeps cooking fun! On that count, I always keep toasted sesame oil on hand (in the frig) and have begun finding great uses for walnut and coconut oils. Happy cooking,

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