So, I have NEVER consumed eggplant IN MY LIFE. The Man never seemed interested and my littles, even with their diverse palates, I was afraid it would be a waste of time. I like to imagine myself an adventurous eater but whenever the subject of eggplant was approached, all my ‘adventure’ was thrown out the window. What can I say, I like adventure on my own terms! I wouldn’t even tell the Man what we were having for dinner when he called from work because I didn’t want him to talk me out of it! Ha!
Last night, my life-long eggplant-free streak ended with delicious eggplant Parmesan, a recipe that I kind of made up as I went. When I looked recipes online I saw a bunch of fried eggplant deals and a handful of baked ones but most of them required eggs and such for the breading process. So, I free-styled… my favorite way to cook! This recipe is vegetarian but it isn’t vegan. Mostly because it was my first time so I wanted to get a good hold on the process (and to see if I even liked it!) before I moved on to a dairy-free version. I’ll include what I plan to do next time to make it vegan
Here’s the ‘recipe’:
1 tsp salt
1 stick melted butter (next time I’m using coconut oil)
2-3 c. bread crumbs (I crumbled some of my homemade bread and let it stale)
½ tsp (ish) salt, yeah, salt round 2
1 tsp Italian seasoning
¼ c. Parmesan cheese (not doing this next time.. I don’t think it was a deal breaker!)
So I sliced the eggplant about ¼- ½ inch thick pieces and placed them on a cookie sheet (I think I had like 10-12 pieces) and sprinkled them with salt. I let them sit for about 30 minutes to let the ‘juices’ rise out of them. (I read about this process on food network) Next I combined the crumbs, salt, Italian seasoning and parm cheese in a bowl. I dunked the eggplant in the butter and rolled it around in the crumb mixture (it doesn’t really stick super awesome) so I put it back on the cookie sheet with a sprinkling of breadcrumbs on top. I did this to all the slices and then stuck that pan of skepticism in the oven for 30-35 minutes at 350 degrees. What I pulled out was muy delicioso! I put some mashed cauliflower on the fam’s plates topped with a couple slices of egg plant and then covered with some homemade marinara. The Man, my eldest and I WORKED IT!!! The younger two I had to work a bit harder to get them to try it but once they did, they ate most of it. It was a success!! I am SO pumped when a new recipe works out! I should have taken a pic... maybe next time.
If you try it, let me know how it works out for you J