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Fast Food Garden - Eggplant Hoagies

Ingredients:
2 'Early Midnight' eggplants
6 large eggs, beaten with whisk
¼ cup curly parsley, finely chopped
2 cups dried seasoned breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
½ dozen foot-long sub rolls
1 head 'EZ Serve' romaine lettuce leaves, whole
1 head 'Iceberg A' lettuce, thinly sliced
1 'Red Delicious' onion, thinly sliced
1 16-ounce fresh mozzarella ball, thinly sliced
Grilled peppers are optional

Directions:
Peel eggplant lengthwise leaving 1-inch increments of skin on it. Remove ends. Slice eggplant into quarter-inch circles. As slicing, lay all circles on paper towels, layering to absorb moisture as it takes away any bitterness. Leave on paper towels until ready to batter dip. Combine breadcrumbs, garlic powder and oregano in vessel and set aside.

Beat eggs with whisk. Add parsley and whisk in. Place eggplant circles into egg mixture in batches and coat. Remove circles one at a time, allow excess egg to drip, and coat each side in breadcrumb mixture. Stack all breaded eggplant on platter while coating. Preheat oven to 350 degrees for melting mozzarella once eggplant is fried. Add enough oil to large frying pan to fully coat bottom. Use oil of preference (canola is suggested). Heat over medium-high heat. When hot, add eggplant circles in batches and fry to golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes. If burning, lower heat.

Stack eggplant on paper towels to drain, layering to absorb excess oil. Add oil to pan as necessary and be sure to heat each time. Place eggplant on sheet pans and melt mozzarella slices in preheated oven. Slice sub rolls lengthwise. Place romaine leaves to cover rolls. Sprinkle heavily with shredded 'Iceberg A' lettuce. Layer eggplant slices on lettuce, overlapping. If preferred, top with grilled peppers. Suggested condiments are (but not limited to) heated marinara sauce, sliced 'Big Mama' tomatoes, Italian dressing, and sliced onion.

* Eggplant can be fried on baking sheets on the grill. Oil baking sheets, place on grill, and heat on high until oil is hot. Place eggplant on sheets, keeping grill lid closed while cooking to retain heat. This process may take longer to brown eggplants.

Read the next Article: Drought Plant Care

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Gardening Tip of the Day

  • How can you tell when it is time to harvest the backyard apple, peach, pear and cherry trees? Time the picking to coincide with the fruit being fully ripe to yield its peak of flavor and nutrition. Here’s what to look for:
    - The fruit will look ripe. Its skin will be flush with color rather than the green shade it had while developing all summer.
    - The fruit will feel ripe. It will yield to a gentle squeeze indicating the flesh has softened somewhat.
    - It will also smell ripe becoming pleasantly fragrant, especially when the sun has warmed it.
    - The best indication that fruit is ready for picking is that it picks easily. Truly ripe fruit virtually falls into your hand when grasped. But harvest before it drops onto the ground and attracts bees.