Melanzane Fritte (Fried Eggplant)
Adapted from, recipe by Mario Battali
Makes 6 servings

This is a great recipe that you can serve with Tomato Bruschette- grilled bread with tomatoes. It’s great with cocktails or as a light supper with a salad.

1 pound eggplant, stems and ends removed, cut into 1/4-inch thick half moons
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Dredge the eggplant in the flour and bat against hand to remove excess. Dip in the egg, turning to completely coat. Dip in the bread crumbs, coating completely.

In a 12 to 14-inch sauté pan, heat the olive oil until just smoking. Add the butter and heat until it foams and subsides. Cook the eggplant in the pan, turning so that both sides are uniformly dark golden brown. Remove from the pan, season with salt and pepper and drain briefly on a plate lined with paper towels. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar and serve immediately with Tomato Bruschette. See recipe below.

Tomato Bruschette

3 ripe tomatoes large dice
12 basil leaves cut into ribbons
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic finely minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Crusty Italian bread sliced 1/2-inch thick and grilled

Combine tomatoes, basil, olive oil and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Serve on top of the grilled bread and enjoy!