Do you remember your first eggplant?
Most people do. Why? Because they either loved it or hated it. Some people came to love it after a few more tries and others…well…they still hated it.
I remember my first time. It was fried. Fried eggplant. In my opinion, the best way to have it. With a ratatouille coming in a close second.
Disguised like a piece of chicken in traditional Italian dishes. Parmesan, lasagna, or maybe just as a simple appetizer.
This is how I like it. Perfectly fried, perfectly crisp, perfectly salted and perfectly amazing.
Fresh. With fresh ingredients. This is how I like it.
Mise en Place
Do you remember your first time?
Kristen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker threw us tomatoes and peppers for this month’s Improv Challenge. I wonder if anyone else paired them with eggplant?
Fried Eggplant with Tomato Pepper Relish
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour or cornstarch
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional for sprinkling eggplant
- 1 small eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices and then quartered
- Vegetable oil, for deep frying
- cooked angel hair pasta, optional (for serving)
- 1 yellow pepper, seeded and finely diced
- 1 cucumber, seeded and finely diced
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl toss together the yellow pepper, cucumber, and tomato. Add the oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper, and toss to combine.
- Place the flour, egg, and bread crumbs each in 3 small bowls. Add the 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the egg and whisk to combine. Season the bread crumbs with a teaspoon of salt and stir with a fork to combine.
- Dredge each piece of eggplant in the flour, coating thoroughly and then shaking to remove any excess flour. Coat each piece with the egg, then dredge in the bread crumb mixture, pressing to make the bread crumbs adhere. Transfer the eggplant pieces to a rack or to paper towels to let them dry slightly before frying.
- In a heavy skillet heat 1/2-inch of vegetable oil to 375 degrees F. Fry the eggplant pieces, in batches if necessary, for about 1 minute on each side, or until golden brown. Transfer with tongs to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle lightly with salt before serving.
- Serve eggplant atop angel hair pasta and top it with the relish and any juices.
Let’s see what others came up with in the tomatoes and peppers challenge: