Did I have you at marinara or at Parmesan? I could sprinkle Parmesan on a bowl of warm, freshly made marinara and eat it with a spoon. Not weird at all. I do have a glass of red wine, preferably a good Malbec from Argentina or Chile (is there any other kind) as an accompaniment if it makes you feel any better. A perfectly well rounded meal after a long day of saving lives (both at the hospital and on my days off at home with the kids) if I might say so myself.
I'm not trying to delude from the fact that eggplant is one of my favorite foods in the world, because it is. But give me some cheese and a nice sauce (say that in your best New Jersey accent if you please) and I'm perfectly smitten. Who has time for a real dinner on a Tuesday night anyway?
In my ongoing
So if your in the mood for some good Italian snackin' then this is your lucky day. I'm telling you, easy as pie. Ooooooooo, pyyyyyeeeeee. Focus Gwen, focus.
So we will bake our cute little french fried eggplants instead of frying them because we are being good and health conscience and want to fit back into our 'skinny' jeans that we've been trying to fit back into since child numero tres was born 6 or so odd years ago. Figuratively speaking.
Cheesy yet satisfying kind of like the Twilight series.
PREP TIME 20 COOK TIME 30 MINUTES SERVES 4
You Will Need:2 medium sized eggplant1 cup Panko bread crumbs1 teaspoon dried oregano1/4 cup flour2 tablespoons corn starch3 eggs1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese1 teaspoon salt, divided1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oilolive oil or spray for baking panYour favorite (preferably Organic or home made) Marinara for dipping
Preheat oven to 400F
Gather 3 small bowls. In one place flour and corn starch. In the second the eggs, lightly whisked with a fork. In the third the bread crumbs, cheese, oregano, 1/2 of the salt and pepper.
Peel eggplant leaving a few narrow strips of the skin in tact. Cut the top and bottom of each. Cut a thin strip of the eggplant lengthwise so you can easily lay it on its side to cut into strips.
Lay the eggplant on a cutting board on it's cut side and cut lengthwise into even, long strips about 1 inch wide. Stack the slices 2 at a time on top of each other and cut again, lengthwise into even pieces 1 inch thick. Now, cut into strips about 3 inches thick.
Place cut eggplant into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with remaining salt.
Place eggplant pieces 1 or 2 at a time into flour mixture. Next into eggs, then into breadcrumbs. Place evenly onto a lightly greased baking pan. Leaving a bit of space between each piece.
Bake at 400F for 20-30 minutes until golden brown and your mouth is watering.
Serve with really warm marinara. My favorite brands are Pomi, Muir Glen and Trader Joe's.