Oven breaded eggplant anyone? I hope you’ll say yes, because this eggplant dish is pretty darn awesome.
I found these gorgeous and rather smallish eggplants at the farmer’s market, and bought some, not really knowing how I would prepare them. I recommend to try cooking with smaller eggplants…their skin is milder and thinner, and you won’t need to peel, salt or drain the eggplant like some recipes call for.
These eggplants are like beautiful works of art, don’t you think? Food and Wine just posted some nice photos of eggplants, showing just how much they can vary in size and color.
Anyway, when I got back home with my eggplants, I did a little recipe research online, and finally came up with what I think is a dish that totally rocks.
The idea is to “double dry dip” the sliced eggplant rounds, first in flour, then in egg, and then in a mixture of breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese. Then you bake them at a relatively high temperature, flipping them in the middle of the bake time, and that’s pretty much it.
You’ll end up with these delectable oven breaded eggplant rounds that are soft and almost sweet on the inside, with a browned, cheesy and crunchy outside layer. And let me say it now: these are even better the next day, and yeah, the day after that. Honestly, I love these by themselves and unadorned by any sauce or topping. In the days after I baked these oven breaded eggplant rounds, I found myself eating them right out of the fridge and out of my hand. This recipe looks like it makes a lot, but that’s okay, because I promise that you’ll love, love the leftovers.
These little golden rounds are awesome just by themselves, but they also kick butt when served with marinara sauce and more cheese on top. Above, I sprinkled some extra Parmesan on top. Below, a few days later, I topped them with sauce, mozzarella and a few dried red pepper flakes.
Use your imagination. Try them on sandwiches with some fresh tomato and pesto, for instance, or layer them in a vegetarian lasagna. And of course, they would be to die for on top of pasta noodles.
Let me repeat: be sure to make plenty of these oven breaded eggplant rounds, because they’re even better as leftovers!
They keep wonderfully for about a week in the fridge, although they probably won’t last that long.
I stored the eggplant rounds in these little containers with wax paper squares that I cut up to fit on each layer.
That way, the eggplant rounds’ breading won’t stick to each other.
These eggplant rounds are nuggets of gold that make great finger food snacks, but also are a wonderful addition to pasta or sandwiches. Here’s the recipe:
- About two pounds of smaller unpeeled eggplants, sliced crosswise ¼-1/2 inch wide. If your eggplants are smaller, there's no need to peel or salt and drain the eggplant.
- 2 and ½ cups of plain dried breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons of dried Italian seasoning herbs
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 and ¼ cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1 and ¼ cup of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Prepare cookie sheets or a jelly roll pan with the oil and heat in oven while dipping and breading the eggplant.
- Mix together flour and pepper and put in large Zip-lock bag.
- In the shallow dish for dipping, mix the bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, salt, and Parmesan cheese.
- Dipping process:.
- Place about half of the eggplant slices at one time in the flour and shake to coat well.
- Then dip eggplant in beaten egg.
- Then dredge the eggplant in the bread crumb mixture.
- Without overlapping, place the eggplant slices onto the preheated cookie sheet or jelly roll pan.
- Repeat dipping process for any remaining eggplant**
- Bake for about 15 minutes until bottoms are lightly browned, and then flip and finish cooking the other side for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove and cool on a wire rack.
- **You might be able to get all of the eggplant rounds on one jelly roll pan. If not, bake the remaining breaded eggplant rounds after the first batch comes out of the oven.
- Store and refrigerate leftovers for up to a week.
I hope you’ll try this oven breaded eggplant dish. It’s healthier than fried, and makes wonderfully delectable leftovers! Enjoy!