(Makes 12 to 14)
3 ripe tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, divided
Salt and pepper
1 medium-size eggplant
Flour for dusting
3 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 to 1-1/2 cups seasoned breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
8 ounces mozzarella, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
In a bowl, combine the tomato cubes, olive oil, and 2 tablespoons basil; season with salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate while you prepare the eggplant.
Remove both ends from the eggplant and discard. Cut the eggplant into rounds about 1/4-inch thick. Dust the slices with flour.
In a shallow bowl, combine the beaten eggs with the Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Dip the floured eggplant slices in the egg mixture and then in the breadcrumbs, coating both sides of the slices well.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Heat about 1/4-inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the eggplant slices in batches to the hot oil. Don't crowd the skillet or they will not brown well. Fry the eggplant slices until golden brown on both sides. Transfer the cooked slices to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
Place the eggplant slices on a baking sheet.
Top each one with some of the cubed mozzarella.
Place in the oven for 4-5 minutes, or until the mozzarella is melted.
Remove from the oven and top each slice with some of the marinated tomato and the remaining basil.
Eggplant pizzettes may be served hot, at room temperature, or cold.
Eggplant Pizzettes are a variation of Eggplant Parmesan that can be served as a appetizer, snack, or as part of an antipasto platter. The fried eggplant rounds act as mini pizzas or bruschetta.
They may be prepared ahead of time and then simply topped with the fresh tomatoes right before serving.
Pair the pizzettes with a glass of wine and enjoy.
With a 3 inch depth and 12x15 inch cooking surface, this electric skillet gives you greater capacity to make a variety of meals in just one dish.
MADE IN ITALY
Inspired by the Umbrian region of Italy, this Deruta-style earthenware utensil holder is crafted in a style that dates back to the Renaissance.