I must admit this creation came from the carnivore. He planned and made dinner (for a change) for me this year on Valentine's Day. He created the best eggplant parmesan for me and chicken parmesan for himself. But, in the course of the dinner, he actually tried the eggplant and noted that it was pretty good. So, the next time I was looking for a new side (instead of the usual green beans) I thought I would try the eggplant again. I knew it wouldn't be an easy sale, but it is a vegetable that is breaded and fried!
I enlisted the carnivore to help recreate his masterpiece. I skinned the eggplant and chopped it into bite-sized pieces. I then placed them on a paper towel and salted the raw eggplant. The carnivore took the eggplant and coated it in a mixing bowl that had a beaten egg in it. He then tossed the coated eggplant in a bag with Italian bread crumbs. In the meantime, he heated olive oil in a skillet. Once the oil was warm he placed the eggplant in the pan and cooked it until they were golden brown, turning often. He removed the excess oil by placing the eggplant on a plate with a paper towel. We served it with a little marinara sauce and a bit of grated parmesan. It so delicious and even the carnivore ate it (that night and the next)!
Of course this can be made with spaghetti and fresh mozarella, like eggplant parmesan, just slice it into thick round pieces. It is also a wonderful side dish to any Italian themed meal, like calzones, when you are trying to make sure you get some kind of vegetable on the plate.