Fried eggplant slices on Italian bread, with or without a tiny bit of olive oil and balsamic, make a memorable sandwich. Eggplant sandwiches were a part of Frank’s childhood, and remain one of his all time favorites.
Eggplant didn’t enter my life at all until I married an Italian. Now, it’s hard to imagine cooking without it. Frank’s father’s fried eggplant was memorable. He didn’t drain the slices on paper towels the way I do, so there was lots more olive oil to soak into the bread. Those sandwiches were old school and really good.
Memories of Frank’s parents are so intertwined with food. Probably true of many ethnic cultures with strong culinary roots. I was thinking of them yesterday as I breaded the slices of eggplant.
1. Peel and slice a medium eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.
2. Pat dry and dip into an egg wash (egg beaten with a tablespoon of water) and then into Progresso seasoned breadcrumbs.
3. Generously coat a frying pan with olive oil. When the oil is hot, fry the slices until they are brown and crispy on both sides. Drain on paper towels.
4. Start layering the slices. A layer of eggplant dotted with tomato sauce and a sprinkle of grated Parmesan. Repeat until the eggplant is finished.
5. Put a few slices of eggplant between slices of crusty Italian bread, and life is good!