Chef’s Notes: I discovered cute little baby eggplants at the farmer’s market today, so I concocted this recipe to enjoy some of them. It’s nothing but a variation on fried eggplant. The chef who makes the best eggplant parm I’ve ever eaten told me that the key to good eggplant is soaking it in salt water, which removes the bitterness and makes it creamy.
Fried Eggplant Sticks
Serves 2 (about 8 sticks per person)
3 baby eggplants
1/4 cup flour
2 T. fine bread crumbs
1 tsp. fresh basil
1/4 tsp. minced garlic
2 T. olive oil.
1 T. fresh grated Parmesan
Remove ends from eggplants and peel. Cut into sticks about the diameter of your pinky finger, about 6 sticks per eggplant. Combine about 3/4 cup water and 1 tsp. salt in a bowl and add eggplant. Let soak for at least an hour. Rinse the eggplant and blot dry with paper towels.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet.
Combine flour, bread crumbs, and basil in a shallow dish or on a plate. In a small bowl, whisk egg and garlic. Dip eggplant sticks, a few at a time, in egg mixture, then flour mixture, and place in skillet. Cook, turning frequently, until brown and crispy. When the sticks are almost done, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, and cook until cheese is melted.
Serve with warm spaghetti sauce.
Pictured with No Noodle Lasagna.