Salad with Crispy Eggplant

The eggplants from my neighbor Beppi’s garden are still coming, as are the arugula and cherry tomatoes.  I still have some ricotta left from my melanzane alla pargmigiana.  This is the perfect opportunity to vary the ingredients a bit and create an entirely new dish.

I’m in the mood for a salad as a main course, but I loved the crispiness of the roasted breaded slices of eggplant.  Therefore, I’ve repeated the breading and roasting process for the eggplant slices  (see melanzane alla parmigiana),  tossed a salad of arugula and cherry tomatoes with extra-virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar, then topped the salad with a dollop of fresh ricotta.

This is light and rich at the same time and a perfect dish for company.  With the ease of roasting the eggplant, rather than frying it, you can bread the eggplant slightly ahead of time (an hour or so), then toss the tray of eggplant into a preheated 375 degree oven while your guests arrive.  Toss the salad and serve the eggplant slices right from the oven, while they’re still hot and crisp.

Salad with Crispy Eggplant

serves 4

1 large eggplant, partially peeled

1/2 c flour

2 eggs

1 – 1/2 c seasoned bread crumbs

1 lb arugula

1 c fresh ricotta

1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 tbls extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbl red wine vinegar

salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice the eggplants and prepare the slices as in my melanzane alla parmigiana recipe.  Roast for a half-hour or until golden and crispy on the outside but soft on the inside.

Toss the arugula and tomatoes with the olive oil and vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Arrange eggplant slices on plates, top with salad and a dollop of ricotta.

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