Sometimes taking an old favorite and changing it up can be a good thing. I love Chicken Parmesan, but the normal breading can be just a bit much on the carbs and pulling out the meat can make this a bit lighter meal with a ton of great flavors.
- 2 small eggplants
- Kosher salt
- 2/3 cup pine nuts
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley
- 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup flour
- Black pepper
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter (optional)
- 1 tsp. crushed red pepper, or to taste
Cut the ends off the eggplant, then slice it lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick strips.
Lay the eggplant on a plate of paper towels and sprinkle both sides with salt. Let it sit as you prepare the other ingredients.
Place the pine nuts in a durable plastic bag and use a heavy object like a soup can to smash the pine nuts into a tiny crumble. Pour the crushed nuts into a shallow, wide bowl.
Trim parsley leaves from the stems and finely chop to measure the indicated amount. Add to the pine nuts.
Stir panko into the bowl of parsley and pine nuts.
Pour flour into another shallow, wide bowl. Crack the egg into a third shallow, wide bowl and whisk to combine well.
Line up the 3 bowls: flour, egg and pine nuts. Set a clean plate at the end near the pine nuts.
Season each slice of eggplant with black pepper. Dredge 1 slice in the flour, coating both sides. Shake off excess, then transfer to the egg. Coat both sides again, shake off excess, then transfer to the pine nuts.
Coat both sides, shake off excess, then transfer to the clean plate. Repeat with remaining eggplant.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter.
Once butter is melted and oil is hot, add the eggplant slices. Oil should sizzle when you add the eggplant.
Saute until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook until the other side is also golden brown, another 2-3 minutes. While eggplant cooks, place fresh paper towels on the plate. Transfer cooked eggplant slices to this plate when ready.
After eggplant is removed from the pan, sprinkle with salt while warm.
Transfer pine-nut-crusted eggplant to dinner plates or a serving platter. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve warm!
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