Those of you who have made my Parmesan crusted fried eggplant will love this recipe – a salad using eggplant is delicious.

I had to put this together for a photo shoot and just used what I have in the fridge, but it turn out beautifully and I proceeded to eat just about the whole bowl.

You can use any sort of leaves.  I love water cress for its peppery flavour, its tiny leaves are delicate to eat and because it is rich in fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate, potassium, calcium, phosphorous and iron,

In fact, it has more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach, so it’s a perfect green leafy vegetable to have in the diet.

Ingredients:

For the eggplant:

  • 4 small Lebanese eggplants
  • Salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • ½ cup flat leaf parsley leaves
  • 3 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1/3 cup grated pecorino or parmesan
  • 5 roma tomatoes, sliced on the round
  • 1 bunch of watercress, trimmed off the roots
  • 3 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

For the eggplant:

Slice the eggplant into rounds of 1 cm in width and sit them in a colander with a sprinkling of salt.  The salt takes out any bitterness and because these were my home grown and they were a little young it softened them a little and also stopped them from absorbing too much oil.

After about 20- minutes, dry the eggplant off and sit them on some paper towel on a tray. Whisk the eggs with a little salt and pepper. For the cheesy crust, place the flour, parmesan, garlic, lemon zest and parsley into a food processor and blend it until fine almost back to a flour.

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy based frypan and then taking a slice of eggplant, dip it in the egg and then press it into the flour mixture. Fry on both sides for about 2 minutes until golden. Set the eggplant aside.

For the salad:

Lay the eggplant onto a large platter and scatter over the tomatoes, then the watercress and then the grated pecorino. Combine the olive oil with the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve with crusty bread.