Meaty eggplant stands in for chicken in this meatless Milanese with mushrooms, arugula and balsamic vinegar.
Technique tip: Make the roasted eggplant ahead to save time.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 1½ cups Panko breadcrumbs
- 4 slices roasted eggplant (see note)
- Canola oil
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- 2 ounces baby arugula
- Parmesan cheese
1. Put the flour in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs with a splash of cold water, season with salt and pepper and whisk until smooth. Transfer to another shallow bowl. Put the breadcrumbs in third shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.
2. Place a baking rack on top of a baking sheet. Dredge one of the slices of eggplant in the flour, coating both sides, then tap off excess. Dip the slice into the egg mixture and let the excess egg drip off, then dredge in the breadcrumbs, pressing the breadcrumbs to make sure that they adhere. Place on the rack and repeat with the rest of the eggplant slices. Let the eggplant rest while you sauté the mushrooms. The longer the breading sits at room temperature the crisper the eggplant will get.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a large nonstick pan over high heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the mushrooms and cook until they are golden brown and their liquid has evaporated, then season with salt and pepper. Scrape the mushroom into a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Wipe out the pan with a paper towel and return to the heat.
4. Heat 1/2 cup of canola oil in the pan over high until it begins to shimmer. Add one or two slices of eggplant and cook until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to the baking rack and season the tops with a bit of kosher salt. Repeat with remaining slices.
5. Whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add the arugula, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
6. Put one slice of eggplant on a dinner plate and arrange mushrooms around and over the top of the eggplant. Top with arugula and a few shavings of Parmesan. Drizzle with more olive oil. (Save the remaining cooked eggplant for another meal.)