One thing I really appreciate about my hubby is that he isn’t a picky eater. He eats everything I make with no complaints and although he may prefer to have something else, he is always willing to eat what’s on the table. One such meal is eggplant. I adore eggplant. I really like the Indian preparation but since he’s not fond of it, I rarely buy it. But this week, eggplant was on sale for 55 cents and I couldn’t pass it up! I found this recipe in one of Rachael Ray’s very first cookbooks. This was before she became a Food Network sensation and before she was plastered on every magazine, TV show and food product. The eggplant is delicious (probably because it is breaded with cheese and fried!) and everyone enjoyed it, including hubby! I even snuck some thinly sliced zucchini into the dish and no one was the wiser!
1 small, firm eggplant
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, plain
2-3 fresh sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
3-4 fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
a handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/2 to 2/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
2 pinches coarse salt
black pepper, to taste
4-6 tablespoons olive oil
1 quart jarred spaghetti sauce or homemade marinara
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F and place a cookie sheet on center rack.
Slice eggplants lengthwise 1/4 inch thick. Place flour in a shallow dish. Beat eggs with a splash of water and pour into a shallow dish. Set bowl next to flour dish. In a third shallow dish, combine bread crumbs, herbs, cheese, and salt and pepper.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Begin coating eggplant in flour, then egg, and then bread crumbs, adding coated slices to the pan. Cook in batches in single layers, adding more oil to pan for each batch. Brown eggplant about 2 minutes on each side until golden and then transfer to oven to finish cooking, about 10-15 minutes. Top with marinara sauce and serve with either pasta noodles or crusty bread and a green salad.