I received an eggplant in my organic bin last week. It spent a few nights in the refrigerator until I finally decided what to do with it. First of all, eggplants have an unfortuate name. Second, they're kind of like that person that you keep running in to and the only way you remember their name is because there is just something awkward about them that turns you off. You keep running in to them here and there. Other people like them and you don't understand why. You are sure there's something about them that is redeeming, but you just can't figure it out or bring yourself to appreciate their character like others do. You try to lighten up and spend more time with them thinking that the exposure will change your mind. In your search for compatibility, you start imagining them as cartoon characters and who they would most closely resemble. You want to like them, but you like their friends more and you wonder if you're missing out on something. Then one day you just decide to ignore them and hope they go away. Finally when you are not looking, they end up on your doorstep and want to stay with you. What do you do? You try to change them! We like this idea because of course it could not possibly be you that's the problem. Just turn them into something that resembles that which you know you'll like. Look at that,. You're now getting along quite well with your......eggplant, even if you have to come up with a nickname for them, like Violet, because their given name makes you feel queasy.
Without further adieu, I would like to introduce you to my friend, Violet. This little dandy made a great weeknight meal and I dare say, I would cook with Violet again!
Weeknight Eggplant Parmesan
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
1 medium eggplant, cut in 1/2 inch rounds
1 egg beaten
1 C flour
1/2 C bread crumbs
1/2 C grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 t. Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
In one small bowl, beat egg with a fork until well beaten. In another small bowl mix flour, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper.
Dredge eggplant rounds one at a time through egg mixture and then through dry ingredient mixture making sure both sides are covered well. Place on cookie sheet.
Heat skillet with two swirls of olive oil over medium heat. Gently place eggplant side down on surface to saute until lightly browned. Flip eggplant over and do the same on the other side. Using a spatula, take eggplant out of pan and place back on cookie sheet. Cover with marinara sauce and remaining parmesan. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.