Eggplant Parm Bites
Eggplant Parm Bites PHOTO: LIZ ANDREW/STYLING: ERIN MCDOWELL

Oh, you need a new appetizer to serve at your next book-club meeting/movie night/game-day party? Well, you came to the right place. In this recipe, we take classic eggplant parmigiana and turn it into poppable little bites (just don't forget a side of sauce for dipping).

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Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings
Start to Finish: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

2 cups vegetable or peanut oil, for frying

½ cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1½ cups bread crumbs

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Coarse salt, for finishing

1 cup marinara sauce, for dipping

Directions

1. In a small pot, heat 3 inches of oil until it reads 350°F on a thermometer. Line a large plate with several layers of paper towels.

2. Prepare three shallow bowls. In the first, whisk the flour with the salt, black pepper and cayenne to combine. In the second, whisk the eggs. In the third, mix the bread crumbs with the Parmesan to combine.

3. Working in batches, dip the eggplant pieces first into the flour mixture, then into the egg and then into the bread crumbs. Continue until all the eggplant pieces are coated.

4. Fry the eggplant pieces until they're golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove them from the oil and transfer to the prepared plate. Drain on the paper towels.

5. Garnish with parsley and coarse salt, and serve immediately with a side of warm marinara sauce for dipping.

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