Broiled Eggplant Rounds with Tomatoes and Cheese

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2 eggplants, very fresh, slender, about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 8 inches long
4 tomatoes, about the same diameter as the eggplants
1/2 cup safflower oil, or olive oil for frying, as needed
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
12 slices cheddar cheese, or other cheese, thin slices about the size of the eggplant rounds
4 tablespoon fresh bread crumbs, tossed in olive oil or melted butter to moisten

1. Trim the eggplants and tomatoes and slice into rounds a little less than 1/2-inch thick. Heat enough oil in a heavy skillet to cover the bottom generously. When it is almost smoking, add the eggplant rounds just to cover the pan without crowding (you may need to work in 2 batches). Quickly turn them over so that both sides are lightly coated in oil, then cook over medium-high heat until browned on the first side. Turn and cook until browned on the second side, about 10 minutes in all. Set them on paper towels to drain briefly, then transfer them to a baking sheet.

2. Lightly season the eggplant with salt and pepper. Cover each round with cheese and top with a tomato slice. Season again, then cover with the bread crumbs. (Minus adding the bread crumbs, the eggplant can be prepared up to this point, several hours in advance and held in the refrigerator.)

3. Preheat the broiler and broil about 5 inches under the heat until the crumbs are browned, about 3 minutes. Serve hot.


Comments:

I used an Italian bread crumb mix and provolone cheese. Wonderful...Everyone raved...
Rosemary, Location not stated.


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