When summer hits, we are also hit with a glut of vegetables from the garden. Actually not MY garden. We learned that we just cannot keep up with raising and eating as much as a few plants produce and we don’t have a big freezer or a lot of storage space for jars. I buy once or twice a week from my local farmer who only sells what she grows and sometimes walk by the community gardens and if i run into my friend Gianbattista, he always gives me something.
He always takes us on a tour of the gardens, showing with pride all his plants in the orto. Then he will go and harvest something for us to take home, the last time there was a nice round violet eggplant.
Not only did we score for the vegetables,but he gave me a recipe for an stuffed eggplant. His twist is fabulous and I really wanted to share the recipe. Normally people cut the eggplant in half and fill with meat. His recipe is more like a sandwich. In Naples, they make a mozzarella in carozza, which is two layers of white bread, crusts removed with a slice of mozzarella in the middle. Then the bread is egged and breadcrumbed and panfrieds. I spice mine up by adding some salt cured capers or sun-dried tomatoes. Gianbattista’s recipe is ham and cheese, so sort of a eggplant cordon bleu? a eggplant croque monsieur? It’s not important what you call it, but you should try it!
- 1 round violet eggplant
- sliced ham
- sliced cheese
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs or more.
- Slice the eggplant. It does not need to be salted.
- Place ham and cheese slices inside, do not let them go beyond the edge of the eggplant.
- Dust the eggplant in flour, then dip in the beaten egg and then roll in breadcrumbs, be sure to roll all the sides too.
- Cover the bottom of the pan with oil, I can use extra virgin i buy locally, but if you are not sure, use sunflower oil or corn oil.
- Cook on one side until crispy, then flip and fry on the other side.
- Lightly salt before serving.
For those of you who haven’t gotten a copy of my printed cookbook- Secrets From My Tuscan Kitchen—
I just released an ebook version of the book for Kindle. It is a perfect gift for kids going to college, or friends that love Tuscany!
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If you are coming on your own to Chianti this fall, don’t forget to bring my Chianti:Food&Wine app.