Eggplant lightly floured, dipped in egg, pan fried, covered in a light, lemony sauce and cheese; then baked until hot and bubbly.
Are you ready to take your culinary skills to new heights? Look no further than Eggplant Francaise, a delightful twist on a classic Italian recipe that will leave your taste buds begging for more.
This mouthwatering dish combines the rich flavors of eggplant with a light and tangy sauce, creating a harmonious blend that is sure to impress even the most discerning palates.
Whether you're a seasoned chef or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is the perfect way to elevate your cooking game and wow your family and friends.
So put on your apron, grab your ingredients, and get ready to embark on a culinary journey that will leave you craving for more. Get ready to savor the flavors of Italy with every bite of Eggplant Francaise.
The History of Eggplant Francaise
Eggplant Francaise (or Francese) can be traced back to Italy, where eggplant is a staple vegetable in many traditional dishes. This particular recipe is believed to have originated in the southern region of Campania, where eggplants are plentiful and known for their exceptional flavor.
The name "Francaise" refers to the cooking technique used in the dish, which involves dredging the eggplant slices in flour and then pan-frying them until golden brown.
This method of preparation gives the eggplant a crispy exterior while maintaining its tender and creamy texture on the inside. Over time, Eggplant Francaise has become a beloved Italian classic, favored for its simplicity and delicious taste.
- Cutting Board
- (2) Bowls or Breading Set
- Large Nonstick Skillet
- Nonstick Tongs
- Medium Saucepan
- 9x13 Oven Safe Baking Dish
To make Eggplant Francaise, you will need the following ingredients:
Eggplant: One large eggplant will yield approx. eight ¼-inch thick slices; which I then cut in half to form sixteen pieces.
All Purpose Flour
Lemon (zest and juice): You'll need for the egg wash and the sauce.
Canola Oil: You can also use a light olive oil.
White Wine: Any white wine that you would drink like a Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc.
Chicken Broth: You can use any variation like stock, low sodium or even vegetable versions.
Mozzarella Cheese: Regular sliced or shredded Mozzarella cheese or even Burrata or Fresh Mozzarella can be used.
How do you make Eggplant Francaise?
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the two bowls for breading. One bowl for the flour and lemon zest. The second bowl for the eggs, lemon juice and parsley.
Wash the outside of the eggplant, dry off; then cut off the top and bottom. Cut the eggplant in half; then cut ¼-inch thick vertical slices. You should get approximately 14-16 slices.
Add the butter and oil to the skillet and cook over medium high heat until the butter melts and the oil is hot. Dip each slice of eggplant into the flour; then into the egg mixture and place into the hot skillet.
Cook 2-3 minutes per side until it's golden brown and repeat for all of the pieces. As each piece is cooked; place them into the baking dish until all pieces have been fried.
To make the sauce, melt the butter over high heat; then whisk in the flour to form a roux. Add the wine, chicken broth, lemon juice and parsley. Whisk together; then bring the sauce to a boil until it starts to thicken.
Pour the sauce over the eggplant; then sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese on top. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted, hot and bubbly.
Tips and Tricks
- Make sure to slice the eggplant evenly to ensure even cooking.
- Pat the eggplant slices dry before dredging them in flour to ensure a crispier texture.
- Use a non-stick skillet or a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet for frying to prevent the eggplant slices from sticking.
- For a healthier alternative, you can bake the eggplant slices in the oven instead of frying them. Simply arrange the coated slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 400 degrees F for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Variations and Additions
While Eggplant Francaise is delicious on its own, you can experiment with different variations and additions to enhance its flavor. Here are a few ideas:
- Incorporate some fresh garlic or garlic powder into the egg mixture for an extra burst of flavor.
- Sprinkle some red pepper flakes over the finished dish for a hint of spice.
- Top the Eggplant Francaise with a drizzle of balsamic glaze or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a tangy kick.
Serving Suggestions and Accompaniments
Eggplant Francaise is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed in various ways. Here are some serving suggestions and accompaniments to complement this delightful Italian creation:
-Top your eggplant francaise with slices of fresh lemon or chopped parsley and serve family style.
-Serve it as an appetizer or a main course alongside a salad and crusty bread.
- Pair it with a side of pasta tossed in sauce for a complete Italian meal.
- Serve it as a vegetarian option at a dinner party, accompanied by roasted vegetables and a glass of wine.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I use a different type of flour for dredging the eggplant? Yes, you can use alternative flours such as almond flour or gluten-free flour for a different texture and taste.
2. Can I prepare Eggplant Francaise in advance? While it is best to serve Eggplant Francaise immediately after cooking, you can prepare the eggplant slices and refrigerate them before frying. This allows for easier and quicker assembly when you're ready to cook.
3. How should I store any leftover Eggplant Francaise? Store any leftover Eggplant Francaise in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days.
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- 2 Bowls
- Nonstick Tongs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare the two bowls. One bowl for the flour and lemon zest. The second bowl for the eggs, lemon juice and parsley.
- Wash the outside of the eggplant, dry off; then cut off the top and bottom. Cut the eggplant in half; then cut ¼-inch thick vertical slices. (You should get approximately 14-16 slices).
- Add the butter and oil to the skillet and cook over medium high heat until the butter melts and the oil is hot. Dip each slice of eggplant into the flour; then into the egg mixture and place into the hot skillet.
- Cook 2-3 minutes per side until it's golden brown and repeat for all of the pieces. As each piece is cooked; place them into the baking dish until all pieces have been fried.
- Pour the sauce over the eggplant; then sprinkle the Mozzarella cheese on top. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted, hot and bubbly.
For the Sauce
- Melt the butter over high heat in the saucepan; then whisk in the flour to form a roux.
- Add the wine, chicken broth, lemon juice and parsley. Whisk together; then bring the sauce to a boil until it starts to thicken.