Eat your vegetables! – Let’s talk eggplant…

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Eggplant loves oil and soaks it up like a sponge.

Quick and Easy Breaded Eggplant with Parmesan is a great way to serve eggplant without soaking up a lot of oil when cooking, since this recipe uses mayonnaise. Because mayonnaise is a blending of oil and egg, it’s in a form that constricts the soaking-in problem. Also, when applying the mayo to the eggplant slices, you are in control of the application – a lot or a little – is up to you. This recipe is applicable for traditional Eggplant Pannesan, baked with a seasoned tomato sauce topped with mozzarella cheese. Or just as it is. I’ve also served breaded eggplant to guests as a delightful hor d’oeuvres. Irresistible! Here’s how:

Quick & Easy Breaded Eggplant with Parmesan
from a recipe by my mother, Betty Gordon

Crispy Breaded Eggplant slices

Ingredients

1 or two eggplants, sliced in just under 1/2 inch thick rounds

mayonnaise (or vegan mayo)

Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

dry Parmesan cheese

garlic powder

salt



Preparation

Set the oven to Broil. While it heats up, prep eggplants (slice rounds) and set aside. On a square of waxed paper, combine and mix a suitable quantity of the dry ingredients, for example: 3/4 to a cup of bread crumbs to 1/2 cup Parmesan to 1 tsp garlic powder to 1/2 tsp salt (more or less). Combine more of the mixture, if needed, to finish coating the eggplant slices.

Spread mayonnaise to one side of an eggplant slice and press it into the dry ingredients. Then spread more mayo on the other side and, again, press it into the dry ingredients. Set the coated eggplant on a cookie sheet. Continue with each slice until the sheet is filled.

Place the eggplants in the center of the oven or even one shelf above center for about 5-7 minutes, but watch it closely so it doesn’t burn! Look for the coating to brown slightly before turning each piece over and brown the other side. Remove from the oven. The crust should get a little crispy as it cools, making it easy to eat by hand. Best served warm, and pair it with a refreshingly light cucumber and red onion salad mixed with vinegar and sweet chili dressing (recipe below).

If it’s your choice to serve Eggplant Parmesan, the eggplants are ready to go back into the oven to bake, topped with your favorite Italian basil/oregano seasoned tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese. No fuss, no muss!


Sweet and Spicy Marinated Cucumber Vinagrette Salad

modified from ourbestbites.com by my daughter, Juliet Johnson

Ingredients

2 English cucumbers, very thinly sliced (a mandolin is useful here)

kosher or sea salt

1/2 cup rice vinegar

2 tbsp sweet chili sauce

1 /2 cup water

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced or minced


Preparation

Place sliced cucumbers ‘in a colander, sprinkle with salt and toss well. Set aside to drain.

Combine vinegar, sweet chili and water in a small sa\lcepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cook until reduced to a 1/3 cup (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and add onion. When mixture is cooled to room temp, add to cucumbers, toss well, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.