Panko-Baked White Eggplant with Tomato & Goat Cheese Salsa

Panko-Baked Eggplant

Wow, sorry guys.  Long time since my last post?!? Oops!  Sorry about that!  Between working as a clerk and starting my new part-time job at Williams-Sonoma (yay!) I’ve been struggling to be creative with my meals lately… not because I don’t want to be creative, but really because I don’t have time (and because I have to make all of Matt’s meals a day ahead of time due to his busy schedule as well!)  Now I know your world doesn’t stop spinning just because I don’t update my blog, but it is kind of rude to leave you guys hanging so I’ll give you a new recipe to try out.

Nowas I have previously mentioned, I get my produce delivered from a company called Go Local Produce thatbrings me local, fresh produce from the Farmer’s Market.  They constantly give me eggplant, which I will admit I am terrible at eating and it usually goes bad.  So I asked my friend Arpita, who also gets these deliveries what she suggested.  She directed me to her Pinterest account (which if you haven’t discovered already, go find it so you can start getting addicted now).  On one of her boards she had a recipe for eggplant, baked with panko and served with tomato sauce and goat cheese.  My recipe isn’t terribly different, but I made a few tweaks here and there and I turned out with a recipe that I really enjoyed anddefinitely plan on making again.

Panko-Baked White Eggplant with Tomato & Goat Cheese Salsa (Adapted from Eat Drink Better)

7732350The Elements:
For Eggplants:
1 large or 2 small white eggplants
1 tsp. salt
1-1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup finely shredded parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. crushed pepper flakes
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
1 T. milk
For the Salsa:96346
1/2 cup Arrabiata sauce (just use your favorite, I used Rao’s)
2 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
2 Roma tomatoes, cut into small chunks
3 heaping tablespoons of fresh red pepper, chopped
1 small shallot
1/4 tsp. parsley
1/4 tsp. basil
1 tsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Partially peel eggplants…it is unnecessary to completely peel them or to peel them at all (this is personal preference).  Slice eggplants into 1/4 inch thick coins.  Place eggplant coins on a paper towel and sprinkle the coins with sea salt.  Let stand for 10-15 minutes (up to 30 minutes). Use another paper towel to pat them dry to remove moisture.

Preheat the oven to 470 F.   Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.   In a shallow bowl, combine beaten eggs and milk.  In a second bowl, mix panko, shredded parmesan cheese, and crushed pepper.  Mix well to ensure that there are all ingredients are combined evenly.

Dip each coin first in the egg and then into the panko mixture.  Press the coins onto the crumbs to get the crumbs to stick, and you can sprinkle more of the crumbs on once you place the coins on the baking sheet.  Fill up the baking sheet with the eggplant coins in a single layer.  Put baking sheet in preheated oven.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden on the outside and tender in the middle.  While eggplant is baking, heat tomato sauce up to a simmer.  Take a small bowl and mix the tomato pieces,  red pepper, shallot, olive oil, goat cheese, and herbs.  When ready to serve, take eggplant coins on a plate and place a dollop of sauce onto each.  Then spoon as much salsa over each as you’d like.

The Verdict:  Excellent way to serve and eat eggplant.  I will definitely be making this again.  I saved the leftovers, placing the eggplant in one container and the salsa in another air tight container so that I could combine them again just before eating.  I would reheat the eggplant in the oven or a toaster oven so it doesn’t get soggy in the microwave.  Very successful dish!

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