Eggplant Cutlets with Tomato and Mozzarella
Active Time: 40 minutes | Total Time: 45 minutes | Serves Serves 4
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups dried breadcrumbs
- 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large eggplant
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil per batch of eggplant
- 2 beefsteak tomatoes
- 8 ounces fresh mozzarella
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 16 fresh basil leaves
Set up your breading station: Get out 4 dinner plates and 1 shallow bowl. Place the flour on one plate. In the shallow bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. On the second plate, combine the bread crumbs, salt, and pepper (12 turns on a pepper mill). Place a clean plate nearby for the breaded cutlets and top the last plate with paper towels.
Peel the eggplant, if you like; otherwise just rinse it and pat dry. Using a serrated knife, slice off the stem and discard. Slice the eggplant into about 3/8-inch thick rounds (or somewhere between ¼ inch and ½ inch).
Using one hand, dip each round in the flour, then in the beaten egg. Let the excess egg drip off before finally dipping into the bread crumb mixture, pressing to help it adhere. Place the rounds on the clean plate.
Set a large skillet on the stove and turn the heat to medium. Measure and pour in ¼ cup of the oil and heat until it shimmers (about 1 minute). Using tongs, add as many rounds that can fit in one layer (they should sizzle) and cook until the undersides are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Flip them and cook until golden brown on the other sides, 2 to 3 minutes more. Transfer to the paper towel–lined plate. Wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining eggplant and oil.
Heat the oven (with the oven rack in the middle) to 400°F.
Place the cutlets on a rimmed sheet pan.
Slice the tomatoes into ¼-inch thick rounds. Do the same with the mozzarella. Top each cutlet with a slice of tomato and mozzarella. Bake 3 to 5 minutes until the cheese is melted. Sprinkle with the red pepper and top with a basil leaf or two.
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