I am so tired of hearing people say they hate eggplant. Children, particularly, seem hard pressed to even try it. Maybe it’s the name, or the fact that without properly prepping it, this vegetable is just a big loafy sponge. It can also turn into a soggy mess if it’s not cooked correctly. So when people say they don’t like the taste, I figure they’ve just had a bad experience with it.
When my nieces were visiting recently, they said they didn’t like eggplant. I found this hard to believe as they live near my mother, who is the queen of eggplant, and I know she’s made her famous eggplant parmesan for them numerous times. But after a little questioning, I found out that what they really didn’t like was the texture of unbreaded eggplant. Ready to defend the honor of this beloved vegetable, I set to work to find a recipe they would love.
Luckily my mother was also visiting so I had two brains working on this problem instead of just one. When one of my nieces saw my zucchini post on BAB, she said the fried flowers looked good. My mother then remembered that her dad (my grandfather) had loved eggplant dipped in only seasoned flower and egg and then lightly fried in olive oil. I figured this was a great way to introduce kids to eggplant as the simple batter recipe kept the spices to a minimum and the crunchiness of the fried eggplant would negate any squishy texture the eggplant would naturally provide.
Both my nieces and daughters loved this dish. We actually had to slice up a second eggplant to make more for the demanding fans. Everyone also had a lot of fun preparing it with me. So if your little ones insist they hate eggplant (or if you have an adult in the same boat), try this recipe. It’s fun to make with kids and a surefire way to create eggplant lovers in your house.
Simply Breaded and Fried Eggplant
1 medium-large eggplant
1 cup flour
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
- Peel eggplant and then cut it into 1/4-inch thick slices.
- Lay sheets of paper towel onto a cookie sheet or large colander (I prefer the latter) and lay enough eggplant slices down to cover the surface. Generously sprinkle salt onto the eggplant and then cover with another layer of paper towels. Repeat until you’re out of eggplant.
- Let eggplant slices sit for 30-40 minutes.
- Heat a frying pan (not nonstick) on medium high. Add enough olive oil to cover the bottom with a 1/4-inch of oil.
- Beat eggs with milk in a large flatish bowl and add 1/2 tsp salt to season it. Then mix the oregano and the other 1/2 tsp salt into the flour on a plate.
- When oil is heated, press paper towels into the eggplant to soak up any extra liquid and then start dipping the eggplant slices into the flour mixture. Shake off an excess flour and then dip into the egg mixture to coat thoroughly.
- Lay battered eggplant into the pan in batches, being sure not to crowd the pan.
- Fry each side until golden brown. If the pan starts to get too hot, just lower the heat.
- Serve immediately.