We've had these before, and they were even better this time around. When I saw the mini eggplants in our CSA pickup a few weeks ago, my first inclination was to make mini eggplant parm, because that is by far the most searched recipe on my site. I thought it might be ready for an upgrade, but then I got sidetracked, as I so often do these days. In any case, these crispy eggplant bites are delicious. We had them as part of a caprese salad, but they would also be excellent as an hors d'oeuvres with a tomato or pesto sauce for dipping.
Crispy Eggplant Bites
3 small eggplants, cut into cubes
1/2 cup flour
2-3 eggs, whisked
1 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon Italian herbs (oregano, basil, parsley)
Put cut eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with kosher salt. Leave for at least an hour. This takes out some of the extra moisture, as well as the bitterness. If your eggplant are more mature, or have spent a few extra days in the fridge, peel them. If they are young and fresh, feel free to leave the skin on.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
Set up three bowls for your breading station.
In the first bowl, put flour. Add the eggplant and toss liberally to coat. You can do this in batches depending on the size of your bowl.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggplant, tapping away excess flour, and put into a bowl with beaten eggs. Stir around until each piece is coated in egg.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the eggplant from the egg wash, allowing excess to drain, and put into bowl with breadcrumbs and herbs. Toss until coated.
Put eggplant pieces on baking sheet.
Bake for about 20 minutes, flipping once, or until golden brown and crispy.