The underrated and wonderful aubergine is considered the ‘meat’ of the vegetable group – with its abundance, heavy flesh and its full texture – it can be manipulated to stand on its own or substitute meat, most notably in dishes like ratatouille or moussaka.

This is how you can make a great finger food or get yourself or others to eat more vegetables using aubergines.

You will need:

– 1 medium aubergine, sliced evenly into thin rounds which are then halved

– 1 egg, whisked

– 2 cupsĀ panko or breadcrumbs

– salt and pepper

– ground paprika

Place your sliced aubergine in a bowl with salt and water, making sure it is immersed well and leave for at least 20 minutes. Drain the water, rinse your aubergine pieces and pat dry with kitchen towel.

Mix some of your panko or breadcrumbs with paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Be very generous with the seasoning for a tastier result.

In a separate bowl whisk a whole egg.

In turn dunk your aubergine pieces first in egg, then in your breadcrumb mixture. Do this one piece at a time to avoid wetting your dry mixture too much. Change your dry mixture when it stops sticking to the aubergine easily.

Please note that panko breadcrumbs are lighter in texture and absorb less oil if you plan on frying these.

Also note that ‘traditionally’ escalopes are made with a thin layer of flour added too, but I decided to leave this out.

Bake in a hot oven for about 20-30 minutes until they start to brown and the aubergine is cooked through. I used my airfryer and got excellent results… they were crisp and evenly cooked.

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