Eggplant and I have a rocky relationship.
I buy it a few times each summer.
I try to love it but it never seems to happen.
There are so many other vegetables I enjoy more. Pretty much all of them. Except beets.
Two instances come to mind where I’ve actually enjoyed eggplant.
This recipe makes three.
That annoying task in the recipe directions—which, like me you most likely ignore—to liberally sprinkle salt overtop of the eggplant slices, let them sit for 30 minutes, then blot them dry.
Well, that annoying task works!
The thick layer of almond + cornmeal crust doesn’t hurt either.
No squeaky texture.
Just a pillowy soft slice of eggplant with an herb-infused coating.
I highly recommend making your own sauce. You will not believe the difference in taste compared to jarred. I actually used my favorite pizza sauce which was leftover from our pizza party a few days ago. I let it cook on high for 4-5 hours in the slow cooker [uncovered for the last hour] then blended it with my immersion blender.
I no longer fear the eggplant!
Almond + Cornmeal Herb Crusted Eggplant [serves 2-4]
- 1 eggplant
- 2/3 cup raw almonds
- 1/3 cup cornmeal
- 1/3 cup oat flour
- 2 eggs or 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk—vegan
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1.5 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp basil
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- extra salt for the eggplant slices
- Slice the eggplant into 1/4 – 1/2” thick rounds and place on a wire rack.
- Liberally salt the tops of all of the rounds and let sit untouched for 30 minutes. You will see a decent amount of water sitting at the top of each slice after 30 minutes.
- Place the cornmeal, almonds, and all of the seasonings in your food processor. Turn on for about 20-30 seconds until the almonds are ground to very small pieces [not all the way to flour].
- Spread the corn/almond mixture out onto a large plate, spread the oat flour onto a small plate, and whisk the eggs together in a wide bowl or pour the milk into a wide bowl.
- Preheat your oven to 375* and lightly grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you have a large pizza pan with holes [3rd photo] in it that works even better.
- Gently squeeze each slice between a dry kitchen towel to soak up the moisture.
- Place each slice in the oat flour and lightly coat both sides.
- Next, dip in the egg or milk [letting any extra drain off] then place in the almond + cornmeal mixture. Press the mixture in lightly and flip to make sure both sides are evenly coated.
- Place on the pan and repeat with the remaining slices.
- Bake for 15min flip once and bake for another 15min.
- Top with marinara and serve.
notes: For a vegan version I dipped half of the slices in milk and it worked perfectly instead of the egg. I couldn’t tell the difference between the two versions after baking. If you currently have an excess of zucchini, it would work great in place of the eggplant. Follow the recipe just the same.
What are your thoughts on eggplant?
Mine are beginning to change!