This time I had a plan.
When I made the strange, new (“why-can’t-we-eat –like-everyone-else”) food, I’d be ready. With a backup. Something similar… but with the “mom’s a closet hippie” part removed.
I’d be making eggplant–and chicken–parmesan.
Right now I am dealing with a deluge of eggplant. I don’t know if eggplant is exceptionally drought tolerant, but it seems to be having a great year. My usual fried eggplant and baba ganoush are not holding back the tide, so it is time to try something new.
I wanted to do something really easy, so I used a commercial (organic) pasta sauce instead of making my own. Results: a simple, crunchy, veggie filled treat for the grownups and something the kids liked too. This time… idea planted; next time… perhaps the kids will try a bite?
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs (or make your own by pulsing dried bread and adding dried oregano, garlic powder and dried minced onion)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Olive Oil
- 1/2 cup (or more to taste) shredded Parmesan Cheese
- Large jar of pasta sauce
1. Cut eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. If your eggplant is small, you can cut on the diagonal to create larger pieces. Salt both sides to draw out water. Let sit until water beads up on surface, about 15 minutes.
2. Dip each eggplant slice in the breadcrumbs, then beaten egg, then breadcrumbs again.
3. Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with a thin layer of olive oil and brown eggplant on both sides.
4. Top with shredded parmesan (or sliced mozzarella if that’s what you have–remember we’re making a utilitarian dish!) Cover and cook until eggplant is tender and cheese is melted (probably just a couple minutes).
5. Heat pasta sauce and place a generous spoonful over each slice. Serve with egg noodles or whole wheat fettuccini.
Want to add chicken to yours? I cut a boneless chicken breast in half and pound it to an even thickness. Then I prepare it like the eggplant. Note that if you work with chicken, be sure to keep it separate from the eggplant, to avoid possible contamination. Use an instant read thermometer to check for doneness in the chicken.