Panko Crusted Eggplant with Root Veggies
Updated: Jan 29, 2019
Panko Cursted Eggplant stuffed with Roasted Root Veggies and topped with Marinara and Marscapone Cheese and served with Purple, Red, and Yellow Fingerling Potatoes
When I lived in Chicago I used to perform in a Cabaret Group. My character was a nun named Sister Mary-Marzipan. The Drag Queen Muffy Fishbasket who used to lead the group I performed with gave me that name because I was in pastry school at the time and often showed up to rehearsal with cake. .
One of my favorite shows that we did was called Diva Brunch, mostly because we were fed at the show and that was often the best pay we ever received for performing! The rule was that if there were more of us on stage than in the audience we would cancel the show. That happened a little more often that we liked. Two's and Three's of people would be wowed by our performances!
Our cabaret was at a place called The Spot in Uptown. They had great things on the menu including bottomless mimosas and bellinis. They would have catchy punny names for the dishes that included chicken and waffles topped with a wig made out of cotton candy. My favorite dish was the Panko Crusted Eggplant stuffed with Roasted Root Vegetables. The eggplant was amazing and buttery and the root vegetables have the most wonderful crispness that just work when they were paired with the rest of the amazing flavors of the dish.
This dish has a lot of steps so I usually only make it for special occasions. I hope you like it:
1 Jicama - Peeled and Shredded
2-3 Parsnips -Peeled and Shredded
1 Small Butternut Squash - Peeled and Shredded
2-3 Eggplants depending on size
2 lbs Red, Yellow, and Purple Fingerling potatoes
1 package Panko crumbs
Flour for dredging
Marinara - (Sunday Gravy Recipe link)
1 6-8 ounce package Marscapone Cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Also spray 9x13 baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Peel and shred Butternut squash, Jicama, and Parsnips in a food processor
3. Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Spread on parchment and roast in oven for at least 25 minutes. Allow to cool.
4. In the same bowl used to add oil and seasoning to shredded vegetables, add washed potatoes and pour olive oil and salt and pepper to potatoes. Add to another parchment lines baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes depending on size.
5. While veggies are roasting slice the eggplants about a 1/4 inch thick and salt to draw out bitterness. Allow to sit in colander for at least 30 minutes. Rinse off salt. Dry with paper towel.
6. Heat enough vegetable boil in a fry pan to shallow fry Eggplant over medium to medium high heat. While oil is heating season panko crumbs with salt and pepper in a shallow bowl or plate. Then dredge eggplant in flower. Next dip in whisked eggs, then cover with panko crumbs. Work in batches to fry the eggplant. 4-6 minutes on each side.
7. Drain oil on paper towels and allow to cool slightly before filling eggplant with roasted vegetables. Form the eggplant around the vegetables and place in baking pan. Once all eggplants have been fried and filled, top with marinara sauce and marscapone.
8. Bake in 350 degree F oven for at least 25 minutes. Add potatoes to the bottom rack of the oven about 5 minutes before the eggplant is ready to come out so they are warm for serving.
The photo below is prior to final baking step.