Gardening is a joy, and it really is a blessing to be able to walk into your backyard and pick supper. Sometimes however, everything seems to ripen at once, and you find yourself with a surplus of vegetables. This is never really a problem, as the non-gardeners in our lives very appreciatively relieve us of our excess. But we have learned that some veggies are less popular than others; eggplant seems to be one of those vegetables. No one has ever turned their nose at a bag of vine-ripened garden tomatoes. Cucumbers are welcomed with a smile, and zucchini are greeted with glee…but eggplant? Eggplant often gets a “it’s not you, it’s me” reaction.
This is really too bad, because there are so many ways to enjoy this unique and versatile vegetable. One way is with this fried eggplant bruschetta; an easy and incredibly flavourful meze, which has even converted some staunch anti-auberginers (this isn’t really a word…but we think it should be!). Not only is this recipe delicious, but it is also a quick way to enjoy eggplant, particularly when you don’t have the time to delve into making a moussaka (which you should find time for…because moussaka is perfection in a pan!).
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- 1 or 2 medium sized eggplants
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper. (divided)
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 1 cup sliced white mushrooms
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh tomatoes
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions
- 1 teaspoon dry Greek oregano
- 1 cup croutons, crushed
- 1/4 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese
- Slice your eggplant into rounds which are each approximately 1/2 inch thick. You should end up with approximately 8-12 slices. Soak the eggplant slices in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes, changing the water halfway through.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a bowl, mix the flour with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Dredge the eggplant pieces in the flour.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. Fry the eggplant pieces until they are golden brown on each side. This will take approximately 4 minutes per side. Add more oil if needed.
- Transfer the eggplant slices onto a plate lined with paper towels; this will help soak away some of the oil.
- To the same frying pan, add the zucchini and fry them for a 2 – 3 minutes, until they are golden in colour. Add the mushrooms to the pan and continue to cook until the mushrooms also turn a golden brown, about an additional 2 – 3 minutes.
- Remove the frying pan from the heat and to the pan add the tomatoes, spring onions, oregano, the crushed croutons and the remaining salt and pepper. Stir well until everything is combined.
- Place the eggplant pieces on a parchment lined baking pan. Evenly distribute the vegetable / crouton mixture onto each eggplant slice. Top with the crumbled feta.
- Bake in the middle rack of your preheated oven for approximately 5 minutes.