Chef Rob Mafucci
Vito's, www.vitosct.com, Hartford, CT
- 2 medium eggplants
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup flour
- 2 cup bread crumbs
- 6 Tbsp (3 oz) extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves chopped fresh garlic
- 4 tsp small capers
- ½ cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
- ½ cup Kalamata olives
- 3 Tbsp (1 ½ oz) white wine
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 3 cups mixed, fresh greens
- 1 Tbsp chopped basil
Skin both eggplants. Cut into ½ inch thick slices so pieces look like discs.
Beat eggs in a medium bowl. Spread flour and bread crumbs in 2 separate dishes. Lightly flour each eggplant slice then dip into egg mixture. Roll eggplant in bread crumbs.
Heat enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a medium skillet very generously. Set over medium- high heat. When oil is hot, add eggplant slices and sauté until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove and cool.
Cut cooked eggplant into 1 inch strips. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add ingredients in the following order: eggplant, garlic, capers, red peppers and olives. Mix in white wine.
Add just enough marinara to color the dish, not turn it into a sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cooking time is 4-5 minutes. Garnish the plate with fresh greens and spoon eggplant salad onto the greens. Sprinkle with chopped basil. Serves 4-6
Recommended wine/beer for Hot Eggplant Salad:
Alois Lageder 2006 Pinot Grigio [Alto Adige, Italy]
Pinot Grigio has become as common and as commonplace as Chardonnay! You are just as likely to hear someone order a glass of Pinot Grigio instead of Chardonnay as a cocktail substitute in a restaurant’s bar. Well I’m here to tell you that there’s Pinot Grigio, and then there is Pinot Grigio! Some of what passes for Italian Pinot Grigio by the glass is just one step removed from flavored water. Not so with the Pinot Grigio of Alois Lageder! Cultivated in the cool, high altitude valleys of the Alpine Dolomites, Lageder’s version is full-bodied and crisply dry. What I also find worthy of applause is the fact that Lageder’s vineyard and cellar practices are based on the “green” principles of sustainability. But what really turns me on with this selection is how perfectly well it can accommodate the challenges of fried eggplant, roasted red peppers and Kalamata olives. By the way, that scant 3 Tbs. of white wine in the recipe—make it Lageder. You won’t die of thirst from the sacrifice! The eggplant, though, will be very happy indeed!