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Crispy Oven Baked Eggplant Flowers

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Level: Easy

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Description

Crispy Oven Baked Eggplant Flowers are golden brown and deliciously crispy on the outside, yet tender on the inside. Fun, festive, and full of Parmesan flavor!

Ingredients

  • 1  Large Globe Eggplant
  • ¼ cups Olive Oil
  • 1  Egg
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 1 clove Minced Garlic
  • ½ teaspoons Salt, Plus More For Sprinkling On The Eggplant
  • ¼ teaspoons Pepper
  • 1 cup Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ½ cups Panko Breadcrumbs
  • 6  Grape Tomatoes, Halved
  • Marinara Or Basil Avocado Yogurt Sauce, To Serve

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400ºF and line two half sheet pans with a double layer of paper towels.

Using flower shaped cookie cutters (2 and 2¾ inches in diameter), stamp out flower shapes from the center of each eggplant slice, avoiding the skin if possible. For the center cut-out on each eggplant flower, use a small round cookie cutter, 1 inch in diameter, and/or the underside of a standard size pastry tip.

Lay the eggplant flowers on the paper towel lined pans and lightly sprinkle both sides with salt. Let them sit for 10 minutes and then turn all the pieces over and let sit for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place two pie plates or other large shallow dishes side-by-side. In one, combine olive oil, egg, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. In the other, combine Parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs.

Transfer the eggplant flowers to a plate and blot away any excess moisture on the surface, Discard the paper towels on the half sheet pans and replace with parchment paper. One by one, dip the eggplant flowers into the olive oil and egg mixture, coating both sides. Next place the eggplant flowers in the panko and parmesan and coat them completely with the mixture. (Tip: Spoon the panko and Parmesan over the eggplant pieces and use the back of the spoon to press the mixture firmly into each flower.) Shake off excess and place on the baking sheets.

Spray each eggplant flower with olive oil cooking spray. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 25 minutes until golden and crispy. Place a halved grape tomato in the center of each eggplant flower. Serve with marinara or basil avocado yogurt sauce.

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