Saturday, November 30, 2013

Bruschetta Without the Bread.

Whenever Bruschetta is on a menu, it is usually listed under "Appetizers"; an Italian antipasto made with grilled bread as the base ingredient. Recently I received an eggplant and figured I would make the same old, same old eggplant parmigiana; Roy and I don't like eggplant, so this dish usually goes to his mom. Then I saw a recipe on Facebook that used eggplant as the top and bottom of a sandwich type appetizer/main course item with spaghetti and sauce as the filling. While the photo looked pretty, I truly didn't see the point of it; but it did get my mind going into a creative direction.

To the refrigerator I went to look for ingredients that would work with the eggplant; Roma tomatoes and mozzarella cheese, but then I spied the chicken cutlets I had defrosted for another recipe.  Suddenly the picture of the recipe I was to make came into my mind like little photos, and I was off!  The eggplant would be the base ingredient, just as bread was for bruschetta; olive oil, garlic, , Italian herbs, tomatoes and cheese were a given.  The chicken, however, would give the entire dish a new dimension in flavor and texture; this would be one of those recipes that could be an appetizer or a main meal.

Enough chit chat and lets get to cooking...

Eggplant-Chicken Bruschetta


1 medium sized eggplant cut into 12 (1/4" thick) slices
3 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided in half
1 Tbsp Italian herbal mix
6 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1/4" thick, cut to equal or slightly larger size than eggplant slices)
6 slices Roma tomatoes
6 slices mozzarella cheese
3 tsp grated Parmesan cheese


Line a platter or baking sheet with paper towels; lay out eggplant slices, sprinkle with salt and cover with additional paper towels.  Wait a minimum of one hour before pressing the paper towels onto the eggplant to remove excess water that has been drawn out by the salt. 

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil, medium-high heat, in a large skillet; place eggplant into skillet, brown one side, turn to brown other side and sprinkle garlic powder over first browned side.  Remove to paper towels.


Put remaining oil into skillet plus herbal mix; place chicken into skillet and brown both sides; remove to paper towels.  Preheat oven to 375F; line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.


Build a stack: eggplant slice, chicken piece, tomato slice, cheese slice, eggplant slice.  When all stacks are made, place on the baking sheet and top with 1/2 tsp of grated cheese.  Bake in oven for 5 to 7 minutes to allow mozzarella cheese to melt.


Makes 6 servings for an appetizer; Makes 3 servings for a meal.

Mary Cokenour

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