Sunday, September 18, 2011

Eggplant and Mozzarella Melts

Pretty much over night, it became autumn in New York.  I can't say I mind, it means I can where my jeans comfortably with my flip flops.  I was going through withdrawals.  Naturally this also means warm, hearty cooking.  First recipe up: Eggplant and Mozzarella Melts from Fresh Flavor Fast
 I couldn't really find a small eggplant, so I ended up not really halving the recipe.  I did make a few small modifications though.  I knew that I would have far to much for myself and in my experience, eggplant isn't great as a leftover, so  I invited K over to join me.  She questioned my desire to make something so eggplanty since I had been saying that I like it, but the texture starts to get to me.  I think because the eggplant is breaded and baked, it did not bother me at all.  
It was a great recipe that was relatively quick.  You do need to do some planning if you are going to make this.  While the actually prep work is quick, the baking takes some time.  From start to finish it took me about and hour, maybe a  bit more, to complete.  Since I knew I was going to make this at some point in time during the week, I actually made the bread crumbs over the previous weekend. 

Eggplant & Mozzarella Melts 
3 to 4 servings
  • 2 large eggs
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup plain dried breadcrumbs (directions below)
  • Olive oil, for baking sheet
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • 1/2 loaf soft Italian bread
  • 1 cups store-bought tomato sauce
  • 8 ounces mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced ( I ordered 3/4 lb from the deli)

  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a shallow bowl, lightly beat eggs with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spread breadcrumbs in a pie plate or shallow bowl.
  2. Oil a rimmed baking sheet. Dip eggplant rounds in egg, then dredge in breadcrumbs, turning to coat completely; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Bake (without turning) until golden and tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, split bread lengthwise, and place cut side up on another baking sheet; press gently in centers to create a well. Layer both halves with tomato sauce, eggplant, and cheese. Bake until cheese is browned in spots, 6 to 8 minutes.
Dried Breadcrumbs

  1. Preaheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Trim crust off of bread and tear into pieces. 
  3. Pulse in a blender (or food processor) until fine crumbs form. 
  4. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet and toast, tossing occasionally, until golden, 12-15 minutes. 
  5. Store in  an airtight container and freeze up to 3 months. 


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