October 7, 2021

For Eggplant Lovers: Fried Eggplant Patties

It's been a very long time since I posted a recipe on this blog. But during the summer I fell in love with a recipe from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, so I wanted to share it. I had a huge crop of eggplants this past summer, and Hazan's "Eggplant Patties with Parsley, Garlic, and Parmesan" was an delicious way to use them. 


I did change one aspect of the recipe: in her instructions, Hazan tells us to bake whole eggplants in a 400º oven until tender, about 40 minutes. When I first tried this recipe a year or two ago, that's how I cooked the eggplants and the result, to me, was ho-hum. Instead, I decided to cook the eggplants over an open flame on the stove until they were soft and blackened, as I've cooked them for eggplant salad, recipe here. The result is a deep, smoky flavor that adds tremendous richness to the patties. 

  • About 2 pounds eggplant
  • 1/2 cup unflavored bread crumbs (I use Panko)
  • 3 Tbs parsley, chopped fine
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped very fine (I like lots of garlic; my home-grown cloves are huge)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbs freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
  • salt
  • freshly ground black papper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Flour, spread on a plate
1. Cook the eggplants over a direct flame on the stove, turning them until they are charred all over and easily pierced with a two-tined fork.
2. When cool enough to handle, slip off skins, cut eggplant in large pieces––I also remove any large, hard masses of seeds––and place in a colander to drain, at least 15 minutes. You can gently squeeze the eggplant to help it release moisture. 
3.  Finely chop the eggplant and combine in a bowl with bread crumbs, parsley, garlic, egg, parmesan, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly. 
4. Shape into small patties around 2 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Smaller patties give a crispier result. 
5. Put enough vegetable oil in a skillet to come 1/4 inch up the sides (Hazan recommends 1/2 inch, but I use less), and turn the heat to high. When the oil is very hot, turn the patties in the flour on both sides and put into the pan; don't crowd them. When they're nicely browned on one side, turn them. When done, drain on a paper towel-lined pan or plate.  Serve hot or lukewarm.

Enjoy! this makes a lot of patties; the recipe says it serves 4 to 6. I heat my leftovers by putting them in a hot skillet, which maintains the crispmess. 

And if you're interested, another of my favorite ways to prepare eggplant is frying the slices,  I eat them in a pita bread sandwich, recipe here, or use for a pasta sauce with tomatoes, recipe here

1 comment:

  1. I've been waiting all day for this recipe to show up. The eggplant is waiting on the counter. Now to work!
    Thank you.