Since I saw Just Eat it, documentary by Grant Baldwin of Peg Leg Films, I have been thinking a lot about food waste and how to plan shopping trips in order to avoid impulse buying.
Like many, I am trying to keep down my bread consumption but whatever bread I do have, I don’t want to waste it so I love recipes that allow me to use homemade breadcrumbs. My other money saving and earth saving tool is to buy vegetables on the “reduced” shelf at the supermarket. They are placed there because they have a blemish or because they are over ripened.
Because the next stop is the dumpster, supermarkets mark imperfect down to a dollar. This weekend I found a large eggplant on the rack for 99 cents and I bought it to make eggplant cutlets for Meatless Monday. Between using the otherwise discarded bread for breadcrumbs and the 99 cent eggplant, I think I will be making money while eating dinner tomorrow.
Serve with an arugula salad with saved Parmesan like a Milanese or Parmesan-style with melted Mozzarella and pasta pomodoro and you can probably settle this meal for under $10 for at least two people and still have leftovers. Enjoy with a rich red like Laurel Lake’s Merlot. Happy Meatless Monday!
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh-ground black pepper
1 cup homemade bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
4 eggs, beaten
Your favorite tomato sauce
In a medium bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt and pepper.
Dip each slice of eggplant in the eggs and then in the bread-crumb mixture, coating well. In a large frying pan, heat about half an inch of olive oil. Fry the eggplant in batches, until golden (1 to 2 minutes per side). Drain on paper towels.
Arrange half of the eggplant slices in a single layer on a baking sheet. Put a slice of your favorite cheese (goat cheese, Parmesan, mozzarella, etc.) on top of each. Bake at 350 degrees until the cheese melts, about 10 minutes. Put the sauce on plates and top with the eggplant. Garnish with fresh herbs of choice.