Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Easy bake eggplant

My husband's favourite dish is this "eggplant thing," as he titles it. His mom cooks it up for him and he shovels it down by the forkful. It's eggplant slices soaked in salted water, fried in olive oil, and patted dry with paper towel. Then, the wilted eggplant is tossed with a garlic tomato sauce and served chilled with the most potent garlic-yogurt topping.

In my loving and trying-to-please way, I've replicated the dish at home for my husband. As simple as the dish sounds, it's very labour-intensive. To get a decent amount worth serving, you need lots of eggplant. Every time I make it, I swelter over a frying pan of hot oil, flipping each small piece in turn.

The eggplant cooks and absorbs the oil quickly. Unfortunately, my face gets as oily as the eggplant. That's definitely a cooking experience I'd like to avoid repeating. Consequently, I've been on the look-out for easier eggplant alternatives.

Today, I adapted this baked eggplant recipe that was recently published in my local newspaper. It certainly involved fewer steps, and best of all, it practically made itself in the oven. Instead of serving it with a tomato sauce as the recipe suggests, I topped it with a mixture of garlic, yogurt, and salt to taste.

1 large eggplant
1 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs
olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Using a basting brush, generously coat the foil in oil.
  3. Peel the eggplant and then cut it into half-inch thick slices.
  4. Mix bread crumbs and cayenne together in one bowl. In another bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork.
  5. Dredge each piece of eggplant through the egg and then the breadcrumbs and place on baking sheet.
  6. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Flip each slice and bake for another 20 minutes.

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