Slimy and squishy foods and Mrs. O are not, shall we say, boon companions.
The insides of cucumbers? No. Zucchini? No way. Summer squashes? Absolutely not.
Mushrooms largely fall into the s&s category, although once I did have two — yes, two — port0bello mushrooms one summer with MF and KR. They were grilled and served with some sort of horseradish creme fraiche sauce that made them taste like steak. Delicious.
But — in the interest of being a grown-up, and being able to tell Baby O to try new foods without being a giant hypocrite, and our more-vegetables kick — I thought it might be time to give eggplant another chance, despite the definite squishiness of previous eggplant parmigiana encounters.
[Sidebar: Eggplant in baba ghanoush is fine, because it’s pureed. The squishy principle still holds. And anyway, liking hummus doesn’t mean that you’ll like chickpeas from the can.]
I found a recipe that purported to offer “crispy” eggplant — basically, a deconstructed eggplant parm. And off we went.
We salted the heck out of the sliced eggplant rounds, and breaded them with panko instead of regular breadcrumbs. We baked them in a hot oven, didn’t add the fresh mozzarella until the end of the baking, and served the sauce separately.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, the eggplant experiment was not a success. Mr. O thought it needed more sauce, and it was still too squishy for me. And those seeds? Yuck.
Mr. O, being the kindest and best of men, ate all the leftovers.