Crispy Almond Eggplant with Romesco Sauce

Eggplant is seasonal and sweet, and I have been tossing the little ones from our garden into practically everything.  This recipe developed from a desire to do a lighter, Spanish-inflected version of Eggplant Parmesan–one that avoided using breadcrumbs.  The coating is coarsely ground almonds instead of bread, and it bakes up crispy and crunchy and tasty.

I used a couple of smaller eggplants and left the skins on because they were relatively thin–peel them if you prefer.  For the sauce I used a jar of roasted red peppers from the pantry, but it would be outstanding with freshly roasted peppers.  Hot peppers grow like crazy around here, but I have never had luck with sweet peppers.

All of the amounts here are approximate, because it will depend on the size of your eggplant.  Here are the amounts I used for this batch:

Crispy Almond Eggplant with Romesco Sauce
2 small eggplants, sliced into 3/4 inch slices
2 eggs
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons milk
2 cups coarsely ground raw almonds
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt (less if you pre-salt the eggplant)
Shredded Manchego cheese

Sauce
12 ounces roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained
juice of one lemon
1-2 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 teaspoon honey
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

If you are using older eggplant, lightly salt the slices and let them drain in a colander for about 15 minutes, then rinse well and pat dry.  Younger eggplant usually do not need this step.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and spray a cookie sheet (or two) with cooking spray to coat.  In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs, tablespoon of olive oil, and milk to blend.  In a pie plate, stir together the almonds, smoked paprika, and salt.  Dredge the eggplant slices in the egg wash and then the almonds, and place on the prepared cookie sheet.  Repeat until all slices are coated.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the slices have softened in the center.  Sprinkle each slice with about a tablespoon of shredded cheese, and return to the oven for an additional five minutes, or until  the cheese has melted.

For the sauce, blend all ingredients until slightly chunky.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, and serve with the eggplant.

Thanks for reading,

-Angela

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9 Responses to Crispy Almond Eggplant with Romesco Sauce

  1. Katie August 26, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    Wow that's so pretty! I love eggplant, so I'll definitely have to try this out.

  2. Kate@Diethood August 26, 2011 at 2:05 pm #

    This looks divine! With almonds? That's got to be amazing!

  3. The Mom Chef August 26, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Yum. That does look delicious. There is something similar to this in Food Network Magazine this month, but I like the addition of the almond and that nutty flavor.

  4. Amanda T August 27, 2011 at 3:17 am #

    Wow! That looks absolutely amazing! I'm very picky with eggplant, it has to be cooked just right, but this looks so delicious, I would just love to try it!

    Even the plating looks fabulous too! :)

  5. Rosita Vargas August 27, 2011 at 5:53 pm #

    Sounds exquisite looks absolutely beautiful, I love this recipe, hugs.

  6. Alice October 17, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    This sounds de-lish! (:

    • Angela October 17, 2012 at 10:17 am #

      Thank you!

  7. Barbara April 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

    This was absolutely delicious! 2 very big thumbs up! Can’t wait to devour this again!

    • Angela April 19, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      Thanks so much, Barbara! I’m so happy you liked this–it’s one of my favorites for eggplant.

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