Taking advantage of seasonal produce (July is Eggplant), this Baked Eggplant recipe is topped with Roasted Red Pepper Relish and Mozzarella. This isn’t fried, but it is just as crispy as if it had been! The relish is simple (5 ingredients) and packed with flavor!
Ever since I posted Baked-Not-Fried Green Tomatoes, I knew what vegetable I wanted to try with that same technique! Eggplant is so delicious fried, but it’s like a sponge and it soaks up the oil. This method creates a crispy, like-fried eggplant, without all the added fat!
The sliced eggplant is sprinkled with salt to allow some of the water in the vegetable to be pulled out. Patted dry, the slices are then dipped in beaten egg and coated with Panko crumbs seasoned with Italian Seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. After being lightly spritzed with cooking spray, they are baked for about 25 minutes, until they are crisp and golden brown.
Instead of using the Baked Eggplant in a dish like Eggplant Parmesan, where the eggplant would get soggy with sauce, I decided to pull out one of my favorite relishes, Roasted Red Pepper relish. Roasted Red Peppers are combined with fresh basil, garlic, capers and salt.
I used a dollop of the relish on top of the eggplant, then added a bit of mozzarella cheese and put it under the broiler to melt the cheese.
You won’t believe how flavorful this dish is! I hope you’ll try it!
- 3 small eggplant, sliced length-wise, sprinkled with salt, set on a rack for 30 minutes, patted dry
- 1½ cups Panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning blend
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch of salt and ground black pepper
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Prepare a baking sheet with a rack over it and spray lightly with cooking spray.
- In small shallow bowl, add the Panko, Italian Seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- In another small shallow bowl, add the beaten egg.
- Dip the dry eggplant slices first in the egg to coat well.
- Then dip the eggplant slices in the Panko crumbs and coat well.
- Place the coated eggplant on the baking rack over the baking sheet.
- Lightly spray the eggplant with cooking spray.
- Place the baking sheet into the preheated oven and bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove the baking sheet from the oven, using a spatula flip the eggplant pieces over, place the baking sheet bake in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, top the slices with red pepper relish*, mozzarella slices and place back in the oven under the broiler for about 2 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven and serve.
- 1 cup roasted red bell pepper
- ½ cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained of brine
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine all the ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until no large chunks remain.
- Use immediately, or transfer to an air-tight storage container (can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks).