Although we are going out to eat over the weekend for Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t help but make one of our favorites today. It is a bit messy (as any frying is), but SO worth it!
Time: 40 minutes
1 TB Olive Oil
1 small onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
2 TBs fresh Basil
1 (28oz) can San Marzano peeled whole tomatoes
1 eggplant (peeled and cut into ½ to 1 inch thick rounds)
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
½ cup Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
4 oz Package of goat cheese crumbles
Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add can of tomatoes, breaking up the chunks with your spoon. Bring to boil. Add chopped basil and salt to taste. Turn down to simmer for 25 minutes. Add pepper to taste at the end.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350.
Heat canola oil in a heavy-bottomed, deep pan/pot over moderate heat. The oil should be ½ inch to 1 inch deep. When you sprinkle water over the oil, it should pop some!
Beat eggs in shallow bowl/dish. On a separate plate combine Panko, Parmesan salt and pepper. Dip the eggplant slices in the egg wash, then transfer to coat with the Parmesan-Panko mixture (I press this on for a nice thick crust). Put these in the hot oil and fry on each side until browned (1-2 ish minutes each side). If they are getting too dark, turn the heat down. Work in batches and transfer the fried eggplants to paper towels. Once all eggplants have been fried, transfer half from paper towels to baking sheet. Cover these with goat cheese. Then place another eggplant slice on top to create sandwiches. Bake for 10 minutes.
Place sandwich on a bed of the sauce and garnish with basil.
HUSBAND RATING: “Hard to believe something with no meat can be so good. Mmm, one of my favorites.” The crispy, crunch of the crust with the warm insides of eggplant and the kick of the goat cheese is just right! I love this dish!