Recipe: Ruth Pretty’s Parmesan-Crumbed Eggplant Rounds with Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise

Late summer calls for lovely finger food that celebrates fresh ingredients like eggplant and red pepper. 

Words and Recipes: Ruth Pretty  Styling and Photos: Carolyn Robertson


3 eggs
3/4 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
½ cup chopped herb leaves (parsley, tarragon, oregano, sage or a combination)
90g parmesan, finely grated
2 large eggplants, cut into 1cm thick rounds
1—2 cups olive oil, for cooking
1 lemon, halved
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise, recipe follows
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges


Place eggs in a shallow bowl and whisk to combine. Put the flour, salt and pepper in a second shallow bowl and mix well. Put the breadcrumbs, herbs and parmesan in another bowl and mix well.

Dip eggplant rounds in flour, followed by eggs and then breadcrumb mixture. Arrange on plastic-lined trays and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before cooking.

Pour oil into a frying pan, up to 2cm deep. Heat to medium. Add a few eggplant rounds at a time to the hot oil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side until the exterior is golden brown and the eggplant is soft.

Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and cover with a heavy tea towel to keep warm while the remaining eggplant cooks. The cooked slices can be cooled, refrigerated and reheated in a 150°C oven for 5 to10 minutes or until hot.

Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper and serve hot with Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise and lemon wedges. Serves 6.

COOK’S TIP: Freeze leftover bread slices and crusts to make fresh breadcrumbs. Tear defrosted bread, and crumb in a food processor.

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Roasted Red Pepper Mayonnaise:

Halve and de-seed 1 large red pepper. Place under a hot grill, skin side up, until the skin is charred and bubbly. Remove from the grill and cover with a clean tea towel.

When it’s cool enough to handle, peel and roughly chop, then put it in a food processor with 1 clove garlic, 2 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, a dash of tabasco sauce and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

Process until smooth, then keep the motor running and slowly drizzle 220ml olive oil through the feed tube. Scrape into a bowl and store covered in the fridge for up to three days. Makes about 1 cup.

COOK’S TIP: If the mayonnaise curdles, put another egg yolk and 1 tablespoon water into a clean food processor bowl. Process briefly, then gradually pour the curdled mayonnaise through the feed tube while the machine is still running.


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NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Life & Leisure Magazine.
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