Crispy Oven Baked Eggplant Flowers
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs (Japanese style breadcrumbs)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt plus more for sprinkling on the eggplant
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large globe eggplant, about 1½ to 1¾ lbs., cut crosswise into ¾ inch thick slices
  • 6 grape tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), halved
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line two half sheet pans with a double layer of paper towels.
  2. Using flower shaped cookie cutters (2 and 2¾ inches in diameter) stamp out flower shapes from the center of each eggplant slice, avoiding the skin if possible. For the center cut-out on each eggplant flower use a small round cookie cutter, 1 inch in diameter, and/or the underside of a standard size pastry tip.
  3. Lay the eggplant flowers on the paper towel lined pans and lightly sprinkle both sides with salt. Let them sit for 10 minutes and then turn all the pieces over and let sit for another 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, place two pie plates or other large shallow dishes side-by-side. In one combine the olive oil, egg, Dijon mustard, garlic, salt, and pepper. In the other combine the parmesan cheese and panko breadcrumbs.
  5. Transfer the eggplant flowers to a plate and blot away any excess moisture on the surface, Discard the paper towels on the half sheet pans and replace with parchment paper.
  6. One by one, dip the eggplant flowers into the olive oil/egg mixture, coating both sides. Next place the eggplant flowers in the panko/parmesan and coat them completely with the mixture. (Tip - spoon the panko/parmesan over the eggplant pieces and use the back of the spoon to press the mixture firmly into each flower.) Shake off excess panko/parmesan and place on the baking sheets.
  7. Spray each eggplant flower with olive oil cooking spray. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven for 25 minutes until golden and crispy. Place a halved grape tomato in the center of each eggplant flower. Serve with marinara or Basil Avocado Yogurt Sauce.
Recipe by Queen of My Kitchen at