Friday, June 18, 2010
During my recent blog trolling, I discovered the website The A + M Blog. This website has great recipes and they host weekly recipe contests. Each week they feature a selected ingredient. Readers submit their recipes for editors and other readers to test. The winning recipe each week wins prizes and will be featured in an upcoming cookbook. This whole process was intriguing to me, and my husband and I decided to throw our hat in the ring.
This week's contest ingredient is fresh mozzarella. We brainstormed lots of ideas for fresh mozzarella, and landed on eggplant parm salad. We were inspired by the deconstructed green sushi salad from Green Kitchen Stories that we tried last week. Our salad was designed to be a summer alternative to the traditional eggplant parm that requires oven time. (Please vote for our entry here.) The only down side of this plan is that it only used a little bit of purslane from the share. We will have to get back on the CSA bandwagon tomorrow.
Eggplant Parm Salad serves 4
1 C Balsamic vinegar
1 small eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1/2 C flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
6 oz arugula
small handful of basil, stems removed and torn into pieces
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 lb fresh mozzarella, cut into strips
2 tomatoes, cut into strips
Pour the Balsamic vinegar into a sauce pot. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Let cool and place in sealed container. It should be the consistency of a thick syrup. If it gets too thick, it can be thinned with additional vinegar.
Dredge an eggplant slice in the flour, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the breadcrumbs. Shake off any excess breading and transfer the eggplant to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining eggplant. Allow the eggplant to dry for 15 minutes once all of the slices are finished. Pour the oil to a depth of 1/4 inch in a small saute pan. Once the oil is warm, work in small batches frying the eggplant slices until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt to taste. Repeat with the remaining eggplant. Once cool, cut the eggplant slices into thirds.
Place arugula and basil in a mixing bowl and toss with 2 T olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
Layer the greens, eggplant strips, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella on dinner plates. Drizzle the Balsamic vinegar reduction over the top.