Sorry for the delay in post everyone, but I'm back. Work has been getting crazy again and time to write/cook has been non-existent. :( I've rediscovered my love for eggplant. This was definitely one of those vegetables that I had a rocky start with. As a child, I was very atypical. I would eat anything... bitter melon, tripe, funky, herbal, Chinese soup that promised eternal life. Literally, I ate everything and loved it. Eggplant was the only exception. It was always presented to me as a greyish, flavorless, gloppy blob, that my dad always touted as being one of the world's healthiest foods. Eggplant to me was brussel sprouts for most kids my age. I would eat it, lacking any sort of epicurean enjoyment. The texture was slimey, the taste was insufferable and visually it couldn't be less appealing. It was not until the ripe old age of 20 that I finally realized eggplant was a good thing (what a shame). All those eggplant-eating years wasted. Eggplant parmesan was the first to enter my life. The first to help me on my road to eggplant-recovery. I ate it in a sandwich by accident and was completely shocked. A whole different flavor profile than I had remembered, in a good way. Then came miso eggplant, moussaka, baba ganoush, ratatouille, so on and so forth. I came to realize two things. One, I loved eggplant in all its different manifestations and two, my dad sucked at making eggplant. :) Sorry dad, you really do!
Here, I simply combined some roasted eggplant, roasted red peppers, onion and flat-leaf parsley to form mini croquettes. I dipped them in flour, then egg and finally panko. I pan fried them in olive oil and served them on pita bread with onion relish and a slice of heirloom tomato (I've been taking advantage of heirloom tomato season). Crispy, airy panko coating, surrounding a flavor explosion from the roasted vegetables. The concentrated flavors were brightened by the lemony parsley and the sweet and tangy onion relish.
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced into 3/4" rounds
- 2 tbls Olive Oil, for roasting and additional for pan frying
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup chopped Italian Parsley
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, roasted and coarsley chopped
- Salt & Pepper
- 2-3 tbls flour, plus 3/4 cup for coating the croquettes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup Panko
Roast eggplant at 400 degrees with salt, pepper and olive oil for about 40 minutes or until roasted thoroughly. Allow to cool and pulse in food processor until chunky. Add parsley, onions, red pepper, salt, pepper and enough flour to thicken the mixture a bit. Chill mixture. That's the key to the croquettes staying together. Form patties... these can be small hor d'oeuvre-sized or larger to make veggie burger patties. Dip each in flour, then egg and finally the panko. Pan fry the patties on medium high until golden brown, about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Makes about 8 mini croquettes or 4 large patties.
Easy Onion Relish
- 1 Onion, sliced thinly root to end
- 1 squirt of yellow mustard
- 1 squirt of ketchup
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1 tbls Olive Oil
Saute onions and garic in olive oil until light brown. Add ketchup, mustard and water. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until thick. How much easier can this be?