Since summer is in full swing, we are operating on summer hours at our house (of course, we've been on summer hours since early May but that's beside the point). What does that mean, you ask? It just means that we're lucky if we're eating dinner by 7pm. We spend most of the year trying to make time for homework, sports, getting the kids to bed at a decent time, that once summer rolls around we're like "Who cares! It stays light until almost 9:00 so let's just try to eat before dark". OK, it's not quite that bad but you get the gist. Since we're operating in super lax summer mode, I decided recently to try out some Eggplant Ricotta Bites as a little appetizer the other night. It was a major hit. I posted a (crappy) picture on Facebook and people were ALL OVER IT. So here you go~
Eggplant Ricotta Bites (Food Network)
1 med eggplant
all-purpose flour for dredging
2 large eggs
3/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tbs plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil (plus more as needed)
2 large plum tomatoes diced
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
fresh basil for topping
Thinly slice the eggplant into rounds and season with salt. Pour some flour into a shallow dish. Beat the eggs in another dish. In a third dish, mix the parm and breadcrumbs. Dredge eggplant in flour, then dip in eggs and coat with breadcrumb mixture.
Heat 1 Tbs olive oil over medium heat. Working in batches, cook the eggplant until golden, about 2 min per side adding more oil between batches as needed. Drain on paper towels and season with salt.
Toss the tomatoes with the remaining 2 tsps olive oil and vinegar in a bowl. Spoon some ricotta onto each eggplant slice. Top with tomato mixture and fresh basil. Try not to eat them all yourself.