Eggplant Cutlets: Cotolette di Melanzane
Slice the eggplants into round slices, each about 1/2 -inch thick. Sprinkle the slices liberally with salt and then place them in a colander. It is all right if the eggplant slices overlap or cover one another. Leave the eggplant in the colander for at least 1 hour, giving the salt time to absorb the eggplant's bitterness. Don't rinse the eggplant, just shake off excess water.
When eggplant are ready to be used, use a fork to lightly beat the three eggs in a shallow bowl. Spread the breadcrumbs out in a baking pan. Season the eggplant slices to taste with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge each eggplant slice first in the egg and then in the breadcrumbs. In a 2-quart saucepan, heat extra-virgin olive oil to come up a 1/4 way u pthe side of the pan, over medium heat. When the oil begins to smoke, lay several eggplant slices in a single layer in the pan. Fry the slices until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. When the first batch is cooked, remove the eggplant from the pan to a serving dish using a slotted spoon. Repeat the cooking process, beginning by adding 3 fresh tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil to the pan, until all of the cutlets are cooked. Serve warm, garnished with caciocavallo cheese, pepperoncino, fennel fronds and juice from the orange wedges.
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