Serves 4 (or 2 if your names are aaron and mary.)
Hands-On Time: 30m
Total Time: 30m (again, OR more if you go goof off for a bit. recommended.)
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 medium eggplant (1 to 1 1/2 pounds), cut into eight 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- kosher salt
- 4 leaves romaine lettuce, torn in half
- 2 medium beefsteak or other tomatoes (about 1 pound), sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
- Place the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dip the eggplant slices in the flour, then in the eggs (letting any excess drip off), and finally in the bread crumbs, pressing gently to help them adhere.
- Heat half the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook half the eggplant until golden brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes per side; transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. Wipe out the skillet and repeat with the remaining oil and eggplant. Sprinkle the hot eggplant with ½ teaspoon salt.
- Layer the eggplant, lettuce, tomatoes, basil, and goat cheese to form 4 “sandwiches,” with the eggplant on the top and bottom of each stack.
By Matt Romero, July 2010 via Real Simple
mary’s better easier directions (sorry matt romero… and you can probably ignore the amounts on the ingredient list if you want. just use “some”)
side note: this is a really simple dish. so get some good ingredients because that’s what makes it taste so clean and seasonal. go make friends with a local farmer and maybe they will hook you up.
- basically, slice up an eggplant (no not the funny skinny kind. you want the fat one) in a thickish size. toss in flour, then egg, and then smush into some panko so it’s covered. put em all on a sheet pan. cook at 400 or maybe 450 until they turn happy and brown… maybe about 20 minutes…or more. just watch them a little. you should also turn them over at some point halfway through. you could fry them but this way you don’t have to mess with splashy burny oil.
- pull happy browned eggplant out of the oven and sprinkle with kosher salt.
- put one slice on your plate. build up in this order. a little lettuce (or whatever salad greans you have laying around), slices of heirloom tomatoes (give them a little S & P too) and whole leaves of basil.
- grab another slice of eggplant and smear some goat cheese on one side. stick it cheese side down onto your sandwich tower. pick it up and eat it like a happy little sandwich.
p.s. if you aren’t into the sandwich thing you can do a sort of deconstructed salad. throw all of these ingredients into a bowl in no particular order and go to town.