Deep-Fried Eggplant Croutons
- Canola oil, for frying
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
- 1 eggplant, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 bag spring mix greens
- 1 heart romaine, chopped
- 10 basil leaves, torn
- 10 fresh oregano leaves
- 10 parsley leaves
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
Preheat a fryer to 375 degrees F.
In separate shallow dishes add flour, egg and bread crumbs. Coat the eggplant cubes in the flour, then the egg and finally through the bread crumbs. Carefully add the cubes to the fryer and fry until crisp and golden brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the fryer to a paper towel lined platter to drain. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic and mustard. Slowly whisk in the olive oil to combine and emulsify. Add the herbs, salt and pepper. Set aside to dress salad.
In a large serving bowl, toss together the greens, herbs, cheese, tomatoes and onion.
Toss with the desired amount of dressing, top with eggplant croutons and serve.
Recipe courtesy of Aaron McCargo Jr.