For my part I know nothing with any certainty,
but the sight of the stars makes me dream.
– Vincent Van Gogh
fried eggplant salad with tahini
This salad is as beautiful as it is delicious. The tahini dressing adds a tartness and creaminess to the crispy fried eggplant, while the greens and fresh herbs add a brightness. Serve this as a light summer dinner, or as a side course, when eggplants are in season.
for the tahini dressing:
this makes leftovers – luckily, it is versatile – drizzle it over grilled chicken or fish, use as a dressing for a simple summer salad, as a dip for crudite, the possibilities are endless.
1/2 cup greek yogurt (non-fat or low fat works just fine)
1/4 cup tahini
juice of 1/2 lime
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 cup water
pinch of salt
Whisk all ingredients in a medium bowl until combined.
for the eggplant:
if you are only making this for two people, you may have leftover eggplant. You can either wrap the extra medallions in plastic and refrigerate for another time, or fry them all and just reheat the leftovers in a warm oven.
1 eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch medallions
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
Line a baking sheet with paper towels and place the medallions in one layer. Season both sides with salt, and allow to sit as you prepare the breading station.
Gently whisk egg with a splash of water in a shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl season panko breadcrumbs with salt and pepper.
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, and add enough olive oil to fully coat the bottom of the pan. Working with one medallion at a time, gently pat dry with paper towel and dip both sides in egg wash, making sure to let any extra drip off. Transfer to breadcrumbs and coat both sides. Add to hot pan.
Fry eggplant, turning once, until golden on both sides – about 3 minutes a side. Transfer back to paper towel lined baking sheet and allow to drain excess oil.
assemble the salad:
2 cups arugula (or other peppery lettuce)
1/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped (plus extra for garnish)
1/4 cup fresh parsley, rough chopped (plus extra for garnish)
1 scallion, minced, for garnish
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Toss arugula and chopped mint and parsley in a large bowl. Coat lightly with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Pile greens on a serving platter, and top with eggplant medallions. Drizzle tahini as desired over top and garnish with fresh mint, parsley, and scallion.