4 1 inch slices of eggplant, peeled
Salt and pepper
2 eggs, whisked with 2 T water
1 cup grated parmesan
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Oil for frying
4 thick slices of fresh mozzarella
4 large heirloom tomatoes, blanched and skins removed, diced
2-3 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Half a white onion, diced
Salt and pepper
1 T each fresh minced parsley and basil
For the sauce, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion until translucent, about 3 minutes, add garlic and cook an additional minute. Add tomatoes and their juices, season with salt and pepper and simmer until tomatoes are falling apart and becoming saucy, about 30 minutes. Stir in herbs just before serving. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
For the eggplant, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Let stand for about 20 minutes to let juices begin releasing. Preheat grill over high heat. Pat eggplant dry and grill on both sides until grill marks are achieved, about 2 minutes per side. When cool enough to handle, coat the eggplant in flour, then egg, then the cheese/breadcrumb mixture. While breading, heat about ½ inch of oil in a heavy skillet until about 350 degrees. Fry until the eggplant is golden brown on both sides. Drain on paper towels. Place eggplant on a greased baking sheet, top with a slice of mozzarella, and bake until cheese is melted, about 6-7 minutes. Remove from oven and top with tomato sauce.
Malbec has enough structure to stand up to the flavorful depth of the grill flavor and richness of the cheese and the proper acidity and fruit to pair perfectly with the tomato sauce.
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