Batter-Crisped Eggplants in Fresh Tomato Sauce A recipe from chef Diane Kochilas


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin Greek olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chopped or pureed tomatoes, preferably fresh
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Pinch of sugar, as needed
  • 6 Japanese eggplants (long and thin)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flou
  • 1 cup water
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves only, finely chopped


Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a medium size pot over medium heat and sauté the onions for about 8 minutes, until wilted. Add the garlic and stir a few times to soften. Pour in the tomatoes, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes are acidic. Simmer uncovered until thick, about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the eggplants: Keep the stems attached and the eggplants whole. With a sharp knife, starting about a half inch below the stem (keep the stem attached), cut the eggplants lengthwise to get three to four 1/4-inch slices (the number of slices will depend on how thick the eggplant is). The eggplant will look a little like a fan. Season the flesh lightly with salt.

In a wide bowl, whisk together the flour, water and a little salt.

Over medium flame, heat about an inch of olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet. Dip the eggplants in the batter pressing down so that the entire eggplant, and both sides of every fan-like slice, are covered in batter. Let the excess drip off. Carefully place, one or two at a time, in the oil. Cook, turning once, until golden brown and soft.

Remove the eggplant with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

To serve: Place on a platter, spoon the sauce on top and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Ideal dish for

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