This recipe is inspired by the Crispy Eggplant with Spicy Tomato-Feta Cheese Sauce in the book Vegetarian Cooking for Today. We've modified it quite a bit for our tastes. It's the recipe that convinced Mike several years ago, after we both read Fast Food Nation, that it's not so bad to cut down on meats. It's also the recipe I wanted to make a couple weeks ago when I had an eggplant but ended up without basil.
small bit of milk
crushed red pepper
I got a medium eggplant from my Planet Organics delivery on Thursday. Peel it and slice it into rectangles, about 1 inch by 2 inch by 3 inch. Let the pieces sit on a plate, salted, for about 10 minutes to draw out some of the moisture. Pat dry with paper towels. Bread the pieces by dipping in potato starch, an egg-milk mixture, and finally bread crumbs. (I use Gluten-Free Pantry Herbed Crumb Coating. I hate the breading process--it seems to take forever. A little trick I have is to ask Mike to do it for me.) Place breaded pieces on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, until the outsides are crispy and the scent of herbed bread crumbs is intoxicating.
While the eggplant is baking, heat up some of your favorite store-bought or homemade tomato sauce in a small sauce pan, adding a pinch of crushed red pepper. Wash and pat dry some basil leaves. Sometimes I slice them into attractive little shreds. Get the pack of feta cheese from the fridge. Place eggplant pieces on plate, spoon sauce over them, then top with basil and crumbled feta.
It's a very satisfying meal, combining some of our favorite flavors. It's warm and filling for cool weather, but if you can get good fresh basil you have great summery flavor. And everything is better when it's topped with feta cheese.
This is my first entry for Weekend Herb Blogging. This is a weekly event that collects recipes for herbs and vegetables, sponsored by Kalyn's Kitchen. This week it's being hosted by Once Upon a Tart, so head over there on Monday to check out the weekly recap of recipes.