Crispy Eggplant Appetizers
1 jar of Dave's Gourmet Organic Roasted Garlic & Sweet
Basil Pasta Sauce
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 cup panko crumbs
2 large egg whites
2 Japanese eggplants, sliced diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick slices
⅔ cup olive oil
½ cup (packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella
½ cup finely grated Parmesan
small fresh basil leaves, to garnish
Heat the pasta sauce over medium heat. Meanwhile, mix the flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. Place the panko breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl. Whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl until frothy. Dip each eggplant slice in the flour mixture, then into the beaten egg whites, and then into the panko breadcrumbs to coat completely.
Heat the oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until hot (the surface will appear to be shimmering), 2 to 3 minutes. Add half of the eggplant slices. Cook until deep golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Transfer the eggplant to a paper-towel-lined plate. Fry the remaining eggplant. (Can be made 1 hour ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
Preheat a broiler. Toss the mozzarella and Parmesan in a small bowl until well blended. Spread 1 generous teaspoon of the pasta sauce over each eggplant slice. Top with a rounded teaspoon of the cheese mixture; spread out to cover and press lightly to adhere. Transfer the eggplant slices to a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until the cheese has melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the mini eggplant parmesans to a platter and garnish each with small basil leaf. Let stand 2 to 3 minutes before serving.