Eggplant Parmesan Bites

Eggplant parmesan bites are an excellent, bite-sized appetizer fit for any time of day or night.

Eggplant Parmesan Bites 

Eggplant is one of those really polarizing vegetables. A person either loves it or hates it, for the most part. And for many, many years, I fell into the camp of people who hated it. It just tasted bland, flavorless and boring. I’d always give it a second chance, grabbing one or two at the farmer’s market to test. And every year, the same results stuck. I couldn’t make myself like eggplant.

Then a few months ago, I decided it was time to try it once more. Joanne posted this Italian wedding soup that included some plump, crispy looking eggplant meatballs. I didn’t make the soup but pulled together a batch of the meatballs for our dinner in the evening. Let me tell you, these meatballs did NOT disappoint. All those other eggplant dishes I’d tried previously were forgotten. I now loved eggplant.

Eggplant Parmesan Bites

I think I’d probably never prepared eggplant properly before, hence the hatred. It needs a loving hand, a generous seasoning, a little breading. After the meatballs, I started buying eggplant regularly. This iteration – these eggplant parmesan bites – may be my favorite version of the nightshade. Crispy, perfectly seasoned, bite-sized and served up alongside a generous heaping of marinara, they make an excellent appetizer for any party. And here is the best part: eggplant is so hearty, you don’t realize the meat is missing. I know, it sounds silly. But I’ve tricked quite a few people with those meatballs and these bites are welcome at our dinner table most nights. Win for me!

Eggplant Parmesan Bites

Yield: Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • oil for frying
  • marinara sauce for serving

Instructions

  1. Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let it sit and release some moisture for 15 minutes. Combine breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese.
  2. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. There should be at least an inch of oil in the pot.
  3. While it heats, take the eggplant and toss it in the flour. Run the eggplant through the eggs to coat, then toss them in the breadcrumb mixture to coat.
  4. Place some of the eggplant in the oil. Be sure not to overcrowd the pot. Once golden, remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with more eggplant until all has been fried.
  5. Serve with marinara sauce.
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