Eggplant …yuk – As kids eggplant was something my mother made once in a great while but never considered putting it on the menu at the Casa, it was just for family. We kids would run the other way. See, she didn’t make Eggplant Parmesan as most people are used to. She would fry it and serve it with lemon, cut it in half and stuff it with a bunch of herbs and spices, bread, cheese, and garlic. I could tolerate the stuffing, but the skin and bottom of the eggplant? No chance.
- 3 large eggplants
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 9 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 9 tbls chopped mint leaves
- 1 ¼ cups freshly grated imported Pecorino Romano cheese
- ¾ cup freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Unbleached all-purpose flour
- Olive oil for frying
- Lemon wedges
- Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and bake it in a preheated 375°F oven until it is very soft. Trim away the stem end. Chop the eggplant very fine and place in a medium bowl. Add the egg, garlic, mint, bread crumbs, grated cheeses, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. If the mixture is very soft, add additional bread crumbs.
- Flour your hands and shape the eggplant mixture into small dumplings about 2 inches in diameter, place on a tray. To cook the fritters, pour olive oil to depth of ¼ inch in a heavy sauté pan. Heat the oil to very hot but not smoking. Roll a few of the eggplant dumplings in flour and gently lower them into the hot oil. Cook until golden on all sides. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle while hot with salt to taste.
Mrs. Tom’s Secret
Serve immediately with lemon wedges on the side.
Here’s a great way to get the kids to like eggplant – don’t tell them what it is until they’ve tried it. I now love the stuffing AND the bottom of the eggplant.