Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Eggplant Medallions

My dad never enjoyed eggplant. It was just one of the vegetables he wouldn't eat...along with zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, etc. (I love you, Dad!) One day my mom made eggplant parmesan, and he declared that he might be able to like eggplant if he couldn't taste it. :0) I think Dad might approve of this eggplant, too. It's thin, crispy, and delicious--not tough or bitter at all. 

I remember the first time I tasted eggplant prepared this way (five years ago!). Our friends, Mark and Jyothi, invited us to their daughter's birthday party. I arrived early to help Jyothi get things ready, and she asked me to make the eggplant. I spread a thin layer of Vegenaise on each side of the eggplant round, then dipped it in a breading mixture of nutritional yeast flakes and some other seasonings. It was then baked until crispy and golden. I was a little suspicious. After I tried one piece though, I was hooked. It was sooooo good. 

Recently, I found a recipe in one of my favorite new vegan cookbooks "Give Them Something Better" by Sarah Frain and Stephanie Howard, that is very similar. If you have their cookbook, you should give it a try. It is very good.  I think the only thing different here is my breading mix. Their ratio of water to mayo alternative is slightly different, too. 

1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced in 1/4-in. thick rounds
(For my family I only used 10 slices and froze the rest of the eggplant pieces)

For batter, whisk together:
1/4 cup Vegenaise 
1/4 water

For breading, combine:
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Salt, to taste
Granulated garlic, to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Dip each slice of eggplant into the batter, then coat completely with breading. Place medallions on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet until sheet is full. Spray the tops of the eggplant rounds with cooking spray. Bake for 15 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. (Mine only took 13 minutes).

This recipe is super versatile! You could serve it with pasta or layer it on a sandwich with grilled onions and bell peppers. At the birthday party, we ate it as an appetizer with dipping sauce.

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