Make it. Eat it. Love it.
When it comes to vegetables, eggplant is my first love. Maybe because it’s purple, and purple is my favorite color or maybe because it’s so versatile and and can be made so many ways or maybe it’s just delicious. Plain and simple.
I first started eating eggplant in eggplant parmesan when I went through my ‘I want to be a vegetarian’ stage in middle school. After I snapped out of that and decided I couldn’t live without meat, I never left the eggplant behind. Lucky for me, eggplant is always in season in Be’er Sheva and they are huge. I’m talking unusually large and wonderful. I used only 1 eggplant for this recipe and it yielded 4 servings.
Think of these little eggplant sandwiches of a light fresh deconstructed version of eggplant parmesan. Baked and not fried, fresh tomato in place of heavy sauce, a 3 cheese filling and a tangy pomegranate molasses to bring it all together. They are perfect for any dinning need. A light lunch or dinner, appetizer for a dinner party, or finger food at a cocktail party. Easy to make, pretty to look at and crunchy, savory and delicious, they will impress any guest or picky family member.
Ingredients (adapted from epicurious)
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 1/4 cups panko
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup flour
1/4 cup water
1 large eggplant, cut into 16 rounds
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
6 ounces goat cheese
4 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
2 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
1 1/2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped basil
1/2 Tablespoon hot pepper flakes
1 large tomato, thinly sliced into 8 rounds
Preheat oven to 450F
Grease 2 baking sheets with 1 tablespoon olive oil.
In a bowl mix panko, salt and pepper, set aside.
Place flour in another bowl, set aside.
In another bowl whisk egg and water together, set aside.
Coat each eggplant round with flour then dip in egg mixture and finally coat in the panko mixture.
Place coated eggplant rounds on greased baking sheet and bake for 6 minutes.
Flip eggplant and cook for another 6 minutes.
Remove from oven and maintain oven temperature. Let cool slightly.
In a pan heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat and saute onions and garlic until tender, about 10 minutes.
Add cheeses, parsley, basil and hot pepper and mix until combined.
Divide cheese mixture among 8 eggplant slices and top with a slice of tomato.
Top with remaining eggplant, making 8 sandwiches.
Bake another 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.
Divide among plates and drizzle with pomegranate molasses.