BLT OR NOT TO BLT
How I long for a BLT. And not just any BLT but one stuffed with thick slabs of Virginia black pepper bacon.
For two reasons, I’m going in a different direction. First, health. I could eat bacon for two meals a day, every day. Not so good. Second, fresh vegetables! ‘Tis the season! Why give up all that fresh goodness when summer is so fleeting.
So, instead, I’m taking a page from my grandmother’s book, and making an ELT. The “E” stands for eggplant. My grandmother grew her own eggplants. She also made a mean eggplant parmigiana, each layer creamy with melted mozzarella and drenched in her homemade tomato sauce. She grew her own tomatoes too.
But what I liked best, as I hung out around the stove, was the lovely sliced eggplants as they emerged breaded and deeply golden. I thought that if these veggies tasted that good right out of the pan, nearly as addictive as bacon, then why can’t I substitute them for bacon? They’re crunchy and salty. Right?
So, here they are for dinner. All the other components are still there. Nice crisp iceberg – and face it, that’s what we like best about iceberg. Fresh garden tomatoes, thickly sliced. Good commercial bread slathered with good commercial mayo. An avid home cook can certainly make mayo from scratch, but it might be overkille.
Anyway to fry eggplant, you will need seasoned flour (salt and pepper), an egg beaten with a tablespoon of water, and, toasted flavored breadcrumbs (your own or packaged). To make your own crumbs, process bread, then toast in a very low oven until golden. Then toss with a little salt, pepper, minced fresh basil, parsley, and oregano.
Dredge thinly sliced eggplant rounds first in flour, then in egg, then in breadcrumbs. Then fry in a a combination of canola and olive oil heated to medium high in a skillet. Remove and drain on paper towels.
While the eggplant slices are still hot, I built my sandwich and enjoyed every bite!