For the life of me, I can't remember my almond-crusted eggplant recipe came about. It might have been inspired by something I saw or someone who mentioned something, or it might have been a light bulb moment from me or my husband. Either way, today I'm going to share with you my absolute favorite way to make and eat eggplant. Even if you think you don't like eggplant, you should give this recipe a try. I'm telling you, there's a chance you'll be converted and it will become your favorite thing ever. It's pretty simple, so I'll just get right to it.
You will need:
- 1 medium eggplant
- 1 egg
- 1 cup of almond meal/flour (I like the kind from Trader Joe's)
- coarse-ground sea salt
- bowl of salted water
- baking sheet
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cut off the top and bottom ends of your eggplant, then slice the eggplant into 1/2" rounds. Place the rounds into the bowl of salted water and let them soak for about 30 minutes, flipping them over about halfway through to make sure the sides that float above the water get soaked as well. In the meantime, beat your egg in a container large enough for your eggplant rounds to lay flat in. After 30 minutes, drain and rinse the rounds, then pat them dry and stack them on a plate. Pour about half the almond meal into a dish or plate. To expedite the next process, place everything you need in the following order: plate of eggplant rounds, bowl of egg, plate of almond meal, baking sheet.
Begin by taking an eggplant round and dredging it in the egg so that all sides are coated. Let the egg drip for a moment over the bowl. Lay the eggplant round in the almond meal to coat the first side, then flip to coat the other side. I like to sprinkle a bit of extra almond meal on each side and pat it with my hand to make sure there is a nice even coat. Finish by laying the round on the baking sheet. Continue this process for all the eggplant rounds, adding almond meal to the plate as necessary. Once your baking sheet is full, sprinkle the eggplant with a bit of sea salt. Slide the baking sheet into the oven and let the eggplant cook until the bottoms are lightly browned, then flip them over and cook for another 10 minutes or so until the other side is lightly browned as well.
Although the almond-coated eggplant will smell absolutely irresistible when it comes out of the oven, I highly encourage you to let them cool for 5-10 minutes or you will most assuredly burn your mouth (ahem). My favorite part about biting into one is that the outside is slightly crispy, while the inside is moist (so long as you don't overcook it, of course) and the salt really brings out the almond flavor. And, if somehow you can't manage to eat them all right then, they still taste good if you heat them up in a toaster oven on the toast setting the next day. Once you eat one, I hope you'll let me know what you think. Perhaps you'll want to make another batch right away. I know I do!