One of the easiest ways to enjoy eggplant is to bake it…
Baked eggplant is the perfect health snack or appetizer…not to mention, the perfect base for Eggplant Parmesan or Eggplant Lasagna…(coming up next, stay tuned)…
The perfect baked eggplant slices are creamy soft on the inside and crispy on the outside…have been coated in a perfectly well-seasoned breading mixture…and then baked to true perfection.
Preheat oven to 425. Spray two cookie sheets.
Prep the Eggplant
Cutting the eggplant…After washing the eggplant, trim off and discard the stem and ends. Then cut the eggplant into 1/2″ disks. The eggplant skin is completely edible….so whether or not you peel the skin is totally up to you, but if you do peel the eggplant, you will be losing some of the important nutrients as well as flavor.
Brining the eggplant…Brining the eggplant will help the eggplant maintain its shape and remove some of the bitterness. To do this, place the slices either in a colander or on a cooling rack set over baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt. Wait for about thirty minutes. After this time, rinse the eggplant slices with cool water to remove any extra salt and blot them dry.
Making the breading…Stir together the panko breadcrumbs, Parmesan, lemon zest, garlic powder, and basil in a small bowl.
Whisk eggs together with 1Tbsp water in a shallow bowl….and finally put flour in a third bowl.
Breading the eggplant…Dredge each slice of eggplant first in the flour, then into the egg, and finally in the breadcrumb mixture.
Place each breaded slice of eggplant on parchment-lined baking sheets…laying them in a single layer, not overlapping at all…and leaving space between them so that they will bake evenly and attractively.
Bake the Eggplant
Preheat the oven to 400.
Bake for about ten minutes per side…until the eggplant is golden brown and the breading is crispy.