First, I love eggplant.
Second, I had no idea how good this meal was going to be until I took my first bite. Perfectly crispy on the outside and really juicy on the inside. It tastes so unhealthy... but it's nottt! Yum. (yeah, there's grilled chicken there too, but, the focus is on eggplant tonight)
This is easyyy... and could definitely be made as an appetizer instead of an accompaniment to a meal... either way!
1. Slice eggplant into 1/4 discs and then in half, then drizzle with extra virgin o/o.
2. Dip and coat in egg.
3. Mix together panko and herbs de provence (these should be an herb staple in your house). I used whole wheat panko and white panko. The whole wheat version is actually super bland so if I go to use it - I always mix it with the white. White is FINE if that's all you have!
4. Coat the eggplant in the panko mixture and place on a parchment lined baking sheet.
4. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes, flip them and bake for another 7 minutes (can drizzle a little more extra virgin, if necessary) then take 1-2 slices of provolone, tear it into pieces and place on top of eggplant. Bake for another 3 minutes.
(So, I broke the rules and used Provolone instead of Parmesan on my eggplant, don't be afraid to break the rules!)
While the eggplant's bakin' and the chicken's grillin'... mix up a pesto-like mixture in the food processor: basil, garlic, parmesan, feta, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, and salt is what I used tonight. Classic pesto would also be good. Mix it up and lightly pour it over the top of the entire meal ( a little goes a long way).
Serve it up and you're done. This would be a great vegetarian meal (sans the chicken), a great app with the pesto dipping sauce, or as I had it tonight, as dinner!
Have a great weekend! xo