Oven-Crisp Eggplant w/Roasted Tomato-Caper Sauce

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2-4 servings

Tip: Sauce can be made ahead and refrigerated. It’s good with the eggplant (below) or with pasta, on grilled bread…whatever you like (hot, room temp or cold).  Another option…2nd photo is leftovers with meatballs added.

Roasted Tomato-Caper Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 pints mixed cherry tomatoes & Italian plum tomatoes
3-4 large cloves garlic, minced
2-3 Tbsp capers, drained
Salt & pepper
Fresh basil and Parmesan for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Wash and dry the tomatoes and cut the larger ones into chunks about the size of the cherry tomatoes. Toss the tomatoes with the olive oil on a roasting pan. Add minced garlic and a little sea salt and ground pepper to tomatoes. Roast at 450 F. checking about every 10-15 minutes at the beginning, then more frequently, as they start to cook and caramelize on the pan. Give them a stir to move them around a bit as they roast. The outside edge of the food on the pan will start to dry and brown, so when you see that and the tomatoes look squishy 😉 add a little splash of white wine (or water) to deglaze the pan. Stir to pick up the caramelized flavors in your sauce. Toss in the drained capers.

Oven-Crisp Eggplant
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium-size eggplants
3 large eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk or whole milk
2 cups flour (can sub 1/2 c cornmeal)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tsp Italian herb seasoning
Fresh basil and grated Parmesan for garnish

Preheat oven to 450 F. Prepare a baking pan with olive oil. Wash and dry the eggplants, cut off the top and bottom, then slice circles about 1/2 inch thick. (If you think the peel is too thick, you can peel it off b/4 slicing, but I leave it on for color, texture and nutrition.)

In a flat glass bowl or pie plate, whisk eggs with buttermilk to make an egg wash. In a 9×13 pan, mix flour and optional cornmeal with salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.

Dip the eggplant slices into the egg wash to coat completely, then drop into the seasoned flour. Coat lightly, shaking off excess and lay the slices on the prepared baking sheet. Roast at 450 F for about 10-15 minutes (check at the 10 minute point) until the eggplant slices are turning brown and crisp. Turn the slices with a metal spatula and continue roasting until they are as brown and crisp as you like. Layer onto a serving platter and top with Oven Roasted Tomato-Caper Sauce. Garnish with fresh basil and Parmesan.

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