Passionate About The Purple (Eggplant)

A couple of weeks ago, beginning of March, I had a taste for eggplant parmesan, the unhealthy, fried eggplant parmesan. I checked a few of my local grocery stores but they were out of eggplants. One manager gave little explanation just saying, we haven’t had any for a little while.
Recently I found some beautiful ones in Fairway although my craving had wanned.

Looking for an updated recipe online I came across an article about “triple freeze” affecting three eggplant-producing regions: Florida, California, and Mexico. They experienced colder than normal temps this season resulting in fewer eggplant crops (and higher prices at the grocery stores). Which explains why they were difficult to locate a couple of weeks ago. I was also prompted to check my store receipt, since the $2.99 per pound currently being charged seemed to startle the writer. I paid $3.99 a pound for mine!! Since I don’t buy them regularly, I didn’t think much of it, just another state of the times.
This recipe had better be exciting!

Eggplant Parmesan
I looked around for a “traditional” eggplant parmesan recipe, by traditional I mean breaded and fried. I’ve long ago given up fried foods especially when it comes to cooking vegetables and fish since I think frying puts the nutrition in reverse. I found a recipe by Bobby Flay recommending the eggplant be double-dipped in egg, flour, and bread-crumbs. This is really messy but it created a delicious fried eggplant! Then the fried eggplant is laid in a baking dish and topped with fresh basil, mozzarella (or a cheese you like) and sauce.

I added these but honestly, the fried eggplant was delicious on its own. When I crave eggplant again, I’ll make just that instead of the eggplant parmesan. What put the fried eggplant over the top were the spices added to the bread crumbs: thyme, chipotle pepper flakes, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Here’s the assembled ingredients.

And here’s the completed dish after baking. Pretty darn good!

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