Back to eggplant. I finally had to look up why it's called eggplant and it seems that it was first white and well, shaped like an egg. Also according to Wikipedia: "It is known in South Asia, Southeast Asia and South Africa as brinjal. While "eggplant" is the common name in American, Canadian, and Australian English, "aubergine" is much more common in British English. Other common names are melongene, garden egg,or guinea squash.". Educational part over.
With all that said, it can be very tasty but if not cooked all the way through, bitter. The bitterness is due to the seeds, they have the same alkaloid as Tobacco (being somewhat related). The other nice thing about eggplant, it soaks up flavors while adding it's own subtle delicate flavor. While the dipping and dunking can take a few more minutes then my normal recipes, it is well worth the work and if you have help, no time at all. I also know that many others have used the eggplant rounds as pizza's. I did make them that way without the breading but if cooked all the way through, they tend to fall apart or you have to make them very thick. I wanted something thinner, like a thin crust pizza. Yeah, that's why.
1 Large Eggplant (depending on how many people you will feed, One will feed 3-5 people)
3/4 cup Seasoned Bread crumbs (I used a gluten free brand)
3/4 cup AP Flour (I used a gluten free brand)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, grated
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
15-20 Fresh Basil leafs rough chopped (optional)
1/2 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes (optional)
(toppings of your choice, cook any meat first if making these none vegetarian)
1 cup Tomato sauce
2 TBSP Ketchup
1 tsp dried Basil
1 tsp Garlic, minced
1 tsp dried Onions, minced
1/4 tsp Chili powder (or less or none at all, depending on your preference)
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper
Make the sauce first as you do not want the eggplant rounds to be sitting around while you make the sauce.
In 3 bowls or saucers (salad plates), have your beaten eggs in one, AP flour with Salt and Pepper in another, and the Bread Crumbs and Parmesan Cheese in another.
Have all ingredients ready.
Cut the Eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds
Dip them in the egg
Then the breadcrumb/cheese mixture
Lay out on parchment paper on a cookie sheet
Do this for all the rounds. One eggplant for me usually is 1 1/2 trays. I put them all in the oven at the same time.
Place the trays in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Remove from oven and flip over, they should be slightly browned on the bottom.
Sauce the top, then cheddar cheese, then topping of your choice and then mozzarella cheese
Place back in oven for 10 minutes
If you like, after the last 10 minutes, place under the broiler to brown up the cheese a bit. I know some people don't like this but I do. It is just an option as they are completely done after the last 10 minutes.
You can also make these vegan by using an egg substitute or lightly spraying with coconut oil between dredging and using vegan cheeses.
Always remember, enjoy life.
It's the one you have,