Makes 4 to 6 servings
|1||medium eggplant (about 1 pound)|
|6||ounces mozzarella cheese|
|1/2||teaspoon active dry yeast|
|1-1/2||cups warm water (105°F to 115°F)|
|2||cups all-purpose flour, divided|
|1/8||teaspoon black pepper|
|4-1/2||tablespoons olive oil, divided|
|2||tablespoons minced fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil|
|Lemon slices (optional)|
|Fresh basil leaf for garnish|
- Rinse eggplant; cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Place in large colander over bowl; sprinkle with salt. Drain 1 hour.
- Cut cheese into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Trim cheese slices to size of eggplant slices. Wrap in plastic; set aside.
- Sprinkle yeast over warm water in medium bowl; stir until dissolved. Whisk in 1-1/2 cups flour and pepper until smooth. Let batter stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
- Rinse eggplant and drain well; pat slices dry between paper towels. Heat 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium-high heat; add as many eggplant slices in single layer without crowding to hot oil. Cook 2 minutes per side until slices are light brown. Remove with slotted spatula; drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining olive oil and eggplant slices.
- Sprinkle cheese slices with basil. Place each cheese slice between 2 eggplant slices; press firmly together. Spread remaining 1/2 cup flour on plate. Dip eggplant stacks in flour to coat lightly.
- Heat 1-1/2 inches vegetable oil in large saucepan to 350°F. Adjust heat to maintain temperature. Beat egg white in small bowl with electric mixer at high speed until stiff peaks form; fold into yeast batter. Dip eggplant stacks, 1 at a time, into batter; gently shake off excess. Fry stacks in oil, 3 at a time, 2 minutes per side until browned. Remove with slotted spatula; drain on paper towels. Serve hot with lemon slices. Garnish, if desired.
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