Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mediterranean Eggplant Fritters

I've been really uninspired in my cooking recently, but I'm trying to change that.  I picked out several recipes this week that use ingredients I tend to neglect - hopefully that will make things more interesting and inspire better meals!

First up is eggplant.  

I love eggplant!  And yet, I rarely buy it or incorporate it into my cooking for some reason.

First, I peeled and diced the eggplant.

Then I combined the eggplant with water and fresh squeezed lemon juice in a large saucepan.  I brought it to a boil, then turned the heat down and let it simmer until the eggplant was very soft.

After the eggplant was very soft, I drained it and pressed it with a towel to remove any excess liquid.  Then I mixed it in a small bowl with garlic powder.  If you have fresh garlic, more power to you!  I didn't, so I used powder.

In a separate bowl, I mixed together flour, baking powder, salt, oregano, and basil.  I added the flour mixture to the eggplant and tossed to combine.

Next, I heated a thin layer of olive oil in a cast iron skillet.  I added the eggplant mixture one tabelspoonful at a time and fried the fritters until golden brown on both sides.

These were delicious and the kids loved them!  My only regret was that I didn't double the recipe!  We all could of easily eaten more.  You can serve these with plain yogurt, or what we chose to eat them with was marinara sauce.

Mediterranean Eggplant Fritters

1 eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup of water
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons basil
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
olive or grapeseed oil for frying

1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  In a large saucepan, combine the eggplant, water, and lemon juice.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook until eggplant is very soft (about 10 minutes).

2. Drain the eggplant and press out any excess liquid, then place in a small bowl.  Add the green onions and garlic, and mix well.

3.  In another small bowl, combine flour, basil, oregano, baking powder, and salt.  Add flour mixture to eggplant and toss to combine.

4.  In a large skillet, heat a thin layer of oil over medium heat.  Add the mixture a tablespoon at a time, fitting as many fritters as you can without crowding them.  Fry the fritters and turn as needed until they are golden brown on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side).  Transfer cooked fritters to a heat-proof platter and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest.  Serve immediately!

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