Last night I was desperately craving fried eggplant, but I am trying to get bathing suit ready for a trip to the lake next week, so the frying was out. I’ve been meaning to try baking eggplant for months and therefore, yesterday was the day! When serving it for dinner last night, our guests couldn’t even believe how delicious it was for being so low in fat. Give it a try – you might just be surprised!
Crispy Baked Eggplant with Ricotta
makes enough for 4 as an appetizer (double if making it for entrees)
1 medium-large eggplant, cut into 1/2″ slices
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup panko (or just use more bread crumbs)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
1 tsp salt
1 cup ricotta
sea salt for serving
basil for serving
Place slices of eggplant on top a pile of a few paper towels and sprinkle generously with salt. Top with a few more paper towels. Let sit for 30 minutes, then flip, replace the paper towels with fresh ones and salt again. Let sit for another 30 minutes. This sucks some of the moisture out of the eggplant while “tenderizing” it.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet by lightly coating with olive oil.
Whisk together the two eggs in a breading tray or shallow bowl.
In another breading tray or shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, panko, Parmesan cheese and salt. Dip eggplant first into the egg and then coat well with the bread crumb mixture. Place on baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the eggplant.
Once all eggplant have been coated, bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Flip eggplant and bake for another 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve with a generous scoop of ricotta, fresh grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of sea salt.