Julia's Batter-Coated Fried Eggplant with Honey, Mint, and Sesame Seeds
This recipe is a great example of home cooking with a Moorish influence.
Yield: serves 4
- 1 (1/2-lb.) eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/8" crosswise slices
- 1 1⁄8 tsp. kosher or sea salt
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1⁄3 cup flour
- 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder
- 1⁄2 cup milk
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Mild olive oil for frying
- 1 1⁄2-2 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. minced fresh mint leaves
- Preheat the oven to 350º. Soak the eggplant slices in 2 cups water mixed with 1 tsp. of the salt for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, scatter the sesame seeds on a small oven tray and toast until lightly golden, 5-8 minutes. Reserve.
- Drain the eggplant and dry well on paper towels. In a small bowl mix together the flour, remaining 1-8 tsp. salt, and the baking powder. Whisk in the milk and egg
- Pour the oil to a depth of at leat ½" in a large skillet (or better still, use a deep-fryer set at 400º) and heat until it quickly browns a cube of bread. Dip the eggplant slices in the batter, coating well, then place immediately in the hot oil and cook for about 30 seconds on each side until lightly golden. Drain on paper towels.
- Warm the honey in a small saucepan or in a microwave. Drizzle lightly over the eggplant, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and themint, and serve right away.