Crispy Eggplant with Tomato Sauce, Feta Cheese & Spinach
In recent weeks, I've significantly cut down my meat consumption due to various reasons and I'm having the best time trying out meatless dishes and menus around Dubai. This recipe is one I'm particularly proud of, as the beauty of biting through the crunchy almond meal crust into a tender and tasty eggplant is unparalleled.
Eggplant is something I've grown to like, I used to hate it but with more recipes like this and the Stuffed grilled Eggplant under my belt, I'm happy to report that its fast becoming a firm favourite. Eggplant is also a great low-carb alternative but if you're watching your calories, note that what this dish is lacking in carbs it makes up for in healthy fats in the almond meal and olive oil.
I layered the crispy eggplant slices with my homemade tomato sauce, feta cheese and fresh spinach. If you're pressed for time, store bought sauce will be fine, make sure you read your labels and opt for the organic option. This meal is best when served hot from the pan, so you'll do well to have your sauce prepped and ready to serve.
1 large Eggplant, cut in half inch rounds
1 cup Almond meal
1 tbsp. Italian seasoning (Switch with your fav seasoning)
1 large Egg
1/2 cup Feta cheese
1 cup Tomato sauce
2 cups Spinach
1/4 cup Olive oil, for frying
Salt, to sweat eggplant
Lay the indiviual eggplant slices on a flat surface and heavily sprinkle with salt on both sides. This will allow the eggplant to sweat out all its moisture for a crisper crust and even cooking.
Sweat the eggplant for up to 30 minutes and then rinse throughly with cold water to wash the salt. Pat dry with a kitchen towel and then set aside.
In a small bowl whisk the egg and set aside. In another bowl add the almond meal and mix with the Italian seasoning or any seasoning of your choice.
Heat a shallow frying pan to medium high then add the olive oil. Dip each eggplant slice in the egg and then dip in the almond meal mixture to cover completely on both sides, then transfer immediately to the frying pan.
Cook for up to 3 minutes on each side and then blot with a kitchen towel. To serve, crumble pieces of feta cheese on each slice then top with about a tablespoon of tomato sauce and some spinach leaves, repeat till you reach the desired height.