Eggplant Parmesan Bites – Fantastic Party Appetizer
I don’t know about you, but I am always on the lookout for new and interesting recipes to try. I like to stick to my tried and true favorites, but sometimes I need to switch up the options a bit. The cardinal rule of new recipes is to never try them out for the first time on dinner party guests; so instead, I create them in my “test kitchen” and wait anxiously for the family to give thumbs up or down following a bite.
The latest taste test came after watching an episode on The Food Network. Giada De Laurentiis was making an appetizer of Mini Eggplant Parmesan for a friend’s art show and I thought those would be perfect to serve at our New Year’s Eve cocktail party! The very next day I was in the grocery store and loading up the cart with all the ingredients.
The family taste-testers gave huge thumbs up and requested I make them again! They are the perfect size and the panko crumbs provide a hearty crunch. The best part? These can be made year round and are a great vegetarian option to have for your guests.
What you will need
- 1-2 small eggplants, long and thin will be best (think bite-size)
- 1 cup jarred basil-marinara sauce (I used my own sauce recipe)
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 2 cup flour
- 4 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 tsp. pepper
- 1 cup (or more) panko bread crumbs
- 2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 large egg whites
- Fresh Basil for garnish
How to make:
Slice eggplant diagonally in 4-inch slices.
1. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a bowl.
2. Whisk egg whites until frothy in second bowl.
3. Place panko crumbs in third bowl. (I suggest using Italian flavored crumbs)
4. Dip eggplant slices in flour, then egg whites, then panko- be sure to coat completely.
5. In very hot oil, fry eggplant slices until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Place on plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat until all slices are cooked.
6. Preheat broiler.
7. Arrange cooked eggplant slices on a baking sheet. Spread a generous teaspoon of sauce on top of each slice and top with mozzarella and parmesan.
8. Broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
9. Transfer slices to a serving platter and garnish each slice with fresh basil leaf.
I changed up the recipe to suit my tastes and what I had on hand, but if you want to follow it to the letter, check out Giada De Laurentiis' version Mini Eggplant Parmesan
What will you be serving at your holiday gatherings? Do you love a tasty bite like this one?