Friday, September 5, 2008

Eggplant Stacks



Today's French word is aubergine: definition: eggplant.

My favorite all time food is fried eggplant. I hate when eggplant is mushy and sliced thick, it has no flavor, when you order it grilled and it comes out steamed. Disgusting.

Eggplant is like a sponge, it absorbs a lot of oil an it is truly an art to get it right. My friend Missi and I used to eat Italian fried eggplant in high school and we used to say that it burned our gums. I don't know why, but good eggplant tingles your gums! I am not kidding. That is how we determined if we liked it or not.
For me, it has to be PAPER THIN, lightly battered in egg & parmesan with a hint of soft breadcrumbs. The old Italian way is to salt your eggplant slices and put them in paper bags to drain out the moisture. I skip this part, because I don't want it to take the entire day.

It is a chore to fry up eggplants and makes your stovetop a disgusting mess. The oil spatters everywhere, and when I do it, I make a TON of it, and freeze the slices for future rollatini, or eggplant parm, because I hate doing it.



This weekend with some of my fried eggplant slices, I made eggplant stacks, 2 days in a row. One day served room temperature for lunch, and the next night, I assembled them again and baked them in the oven. I can't decide which one was better.
Here is what I did:

Eggplant Stacks:

Paper thin eggplant slices, sliced the long way
Fried quickly in flour, egg, and parmesan/breadcrumb mixture (salt & pepper), drained on paper towels.

Leave the drained, fried slices on the counter all day, don't refrigerate or they will no longer be crispy, they get mushy. They taste great eaten just at room temperature, plain!!
Cut the slices in half, so you have 2 pieces for the stacks.

Lay one half of an eggplant slice and top with a slice of fresh mozzarella cheese, a basil leaf or two and a ripe tomato slice. It's like making a sandwich.
Then top with another half slice of eggplant.
A swipe of basil pesto.
Top with another slice of fresh mozzarella and end with a tomato slice, basil leaf and roasted red peppers on top.


There is no real science to this, and you can't screw it up. Just pile it as you would a sandwich or layer like a lasagna.
When ready to serve, drizzle with balsamic vinegar. This is SO GOOD.

13 comments:

Linda said...

Hi Sta
Ah fried eggplant, a staple in our house!! we throw arugala on our stacks!! YUM!!! that is of course if any of the eggplant makes it from the frying pan to the actual "stack" construction!!!
Love ya

kat said...

Oh this totally might be the way to get Matt to eat eggplant!

Michele said...

I know what you mean about the mess. I have a friend who puts tin foil all over her stove when she fries food. It's a lot of waste but makes for easy clean up.

Lisa said...

Love fried eggplant. Sometimes I bread it then bake it. Why does it make your mouth burn? The same thing happenes to me...maybe I can find out by googling it.

Content in a Cottage said...

I'll have mine sandwich style. That looks absolutely delicious. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I am looking forward to your blogs from Paris. Safe trip!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Aubergine just sounds so much better than eggplant, doesn't it? I love fried eggplant with a fresh tomato dipping sauce or a tahini dip.

AnticiPlate said...

Yum! These look amazing. Maybe I could convince my husband to eat eggplant if it was prepared like this. I have chopped it up very small and added a bunch of spices, and he didn't mind:) But, he also probably didn't know what it was!

Stacey Snacks said...

It seems like so many men/husbands/boyfriends don't like eggplant! what the hell is going on in the universe?

My husband would never eat eggplant, but this way, super thin, & fried, he LOVES it! He will eat leftover sandwiches the next day.
So many people have ruined eggplant (mushy and tasteless), that it makes it hard to convert an eggplant hater!!!!

Lael said...

I am new to your site and had to stop and say that these look delicious, as does your eggplant appetizer further down on the page. I loooove eggplant! Thanks for sharing your recipes.

Alison said...

Thanks for the inspiration! I have loads of eggplant from my farm share and have been anxious to do just this!

We Are Never Full said...

i TOTALLY agree w/ eggplant needing to be sliced paper thin. it's the only way! it's how the perfect eggplant parm is made!

Proud Italian Cook said...

This is right up my alley! My whole family loves eggplant, and btw, my hubby would eat it everynight! I totally agree about leaving it out all day, it does stay nice and crispy. Love this!!!

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