Sometimes the best meals are the result of a nearly bare fridge and an unlikely pair. We’d been avoiding the bunch of sweet potato greens from our CSA box all week and had one extra, lonely eggplant left from another recipe. This is our (and the kids’ — they call it eggplant pizza) new favorite summer dish.
Crispy Eggplant Rounds with Sweet Potato Greens
¼ cup all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cups panko breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, minced
1 eggplant, large, enough for 12, 1/4" thick rounds
2 red onions, medium
5 cloves of garlic
1 bunch sweet potato greens
¼ lb mozzarella cheese, or more if you prefer lots of cheese
— Kosher salt
— black pepper, freshly ground
— olive oil
- Cut eggplant into 1/4" thick rounds. (The topping and dredging ingredients are enough for 12.) Place eggplant rounds in a single layer on paper towels, salt generously and let them sweat for 20-30 minutes while you prepare your dredging station and topping.
- Prepare your dredging station by putting the flour, eggs, and panko in three shallow dishes. Add minced parsley to panko and season each bowl with 2 good pinches of salt and a few grinds of pepper.
- Thinly chop the onion, mince the garlic, and chop sweet potato greens and stems. Grate the cheese in another bowl and set everything aside.
- Cover the bottom of a large sauté pan with olive oil and heat on medium-high and preheat the oven to 450° F. Blot the eggplant with a paper towel. Coat each round first in flour, then in eggs (allowing for the excess to drip off) and finally dredge in panko, covering completely. Press down lightly if needed.
- Cook 4 rounds at a time for about 2 minutes on each side, until golden-brown and crispy. Transfer to a sheet pan.
- In the same pan, sauté onions and sweet potato green stems until soft, add garlic and stir until fragrant, and finally add the sweet potato leaves, stirring a few minutes until wilted. Add a healthy pinch of salt and pepper.
- Now assemble each round by topping with cheese and greens mixture. Place the sheet pan in the oven for about 6-8 minutes until cheese is bubbly. Serve right away alongside a salad or heirloom cherry tomatoes.