Crispy Eggplant Fritters with Smoked Mozzarella

From BonAppetit

Crispy Eggplant Fritters with Smoked Mozzarella
Crispy Eggplant Fritters with Smoked Mozzarella

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 2

    large eggplants (2 pounds total)

  • 1 1/4

    teaspoons salt, divided

  • Olive oil (for brushing and frying)

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 3/4

    cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1 1/4

    cups plain dry breadcrumbs, divided

  • 1/4

    cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley

  • 1

    tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 1/4

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2

    tablespoons all purpose flour

  • 4

    ounces smoked mozzarella cheese,* cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 20 cubes)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut eggplants crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Place on layers of paper towels. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt; let stand 30 minutes. Brush 2 large baking sheets with oil. Pat eggplant dry; arrange in single layer on prepared sheets. Brush lightly with oil. Bake until eggplant is tender and dry, about 1 hour. Cool slightly; chop coarsely. Whisk 1 egg, grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium bowl. Stir in chopped eggplant (mixture will be soft). Spread 1 cup breadcrumbs on plate. Whisk 1 egg and flour in another bowl. Press and shape eggplant mixture into 1 1/4 -inch-diameter balls. Press 1 piece smoked mozzarella into center of each ball, making sure eggplant mixture covers cheese. Dip balls, 1 at a time, into egg batter; roll in breadcrumbs to coat. Pour enough oil into large skillet to reach depth of 1/4 inch; heat over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add balls to skillet; sauté until browned, turning often, about 4 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

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