Kale Salad With Crispy Eggplant

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Know whats really delicious on top of salads?  That really takes an ordinary everyday salad above and beyond?  Deep fried food!  Haha, juuuust kidding.  Well, kinda.  I actually do enjoy the texture and flavor contrast that fried food can provide to a salad.  And I also love how the acidic dressings on salads can brighten up something that’s been fried.  So yes, I’m serious.  Fried food goes great on salads. crispy eggplant, fried eggplant, baked eggplant, eggplant recipes, vegetarian recipes, meatless monday, vegan, kale salad, kale recipes

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The only thing is…fried food doesn’t go great with my diet plan.  Nope, not even close.  But salads sure do!  Luckily I love salads AND fried foods.  And this past Friday night, I felt the need to spice things up a little on our dinner table.  Something beyond the usual quinoa, vegetable, more vegetables, tofu spectacular.  Not that, our usuals are bad. Because they’re not.  They’re delicious.  But not as delicious as non-fried, fried food over an awesome kale salad!

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crispy eggplant, fried eggplant, baked eggplant, eggplant recipes, vegetarian recipes, meatless monday, vegan, kale salad, kale recipes Do you remember that post I wrote awhile back about crispy eggplant and zucchini fries???  I used the exact same technique to make these crispy eggplant rounds for my kale salad.  It takes a little effort to make these crispy babies, but so worth it in the end.  Because you get the crispiest, crunchiest, guilt-free “fried” eggplant EVER created.  Ever… the best.  Seriously.  It’s that freaking good!  And it’s over a really super guilt-free kale salad.

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crispy eggplant, fried eggplant, baked eggplant, eggplant recipes, vegetarian recipes, meatless monday, vegan, kale salad, kale recipes If you’re not in the kale, you could totally cover the eggplant with a bit of marinara sauce (try my recipe) and bake off with some mozzarella cheese.  Or even make eggplant parmesan sandwiches!  But first, try the salad!  You’ll love it, I’m sure!

Kale Salad With Crispy Eggplant:
Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale, washed, cleaned and chopped
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese shavings
  • 1/3 pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 medium to large eggplant, sliced in to 1/2″ rounds
  • 1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup za’tar spice
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 egg, scrambled with 2 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 tbsp – 1/4 cup Lemon Vinaigrette

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Set out 3 separate flat bottom bowls or baking dishes.  Add the flour to one dish.  Add eggs and water to another dish, scramble to combine.  In the third dish add in both bread crumbs, za’tar spice and ground pepper.
  3. Prepare a large sheet pan or baking pan with parchment, cooking spray or a silpat.  Working in small batches first coat eggplant rounds in the flour.  Then move to egg and thoroughly coat.  Finally transfer eggplant into the breadcrumb mixture.  Press down lightly to ensure a thick coating of breadcrumbs.
  4. Place on sheet pan .  Lightly spray the tops of the eggplant with non stick cooking spray.
  5. Bake at 425 for about 20-25 minutes.  As many oven temperatures differ, monitor eggplant to make sure it does not burn.  The eggplant rounds should turn golden brown and the breadcrumbs toasted and crunchy when finished.
  6. While the eggplant bakes, toss the chopped kale with the lemon vinaigrette – add more or less dressing based on your taste.  Plate salad and sprinkle on the pine nuts and parmesan shavings.
  7. When the eggplant is finished baking, top each salad with 2-3 crispy rounds.  Enjoy!

 

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