I never know quite what to do with ground beef... It inevitably turns into tacos or burgers.... And since I purchased my local ground beef already frozen, I wasn't able to divide it up before freezing into single-lady servings.
I've been craving some Parmesan-crusted eggplant ever since I bought a little single-serving eggplant for $1.50 at the farmers market yesterday, but that ground beef was calling out at me every time I opened the fridge.
So I decided my beloved Parmesan-crusted eggplant slices would become the bun to my slider. And it was a GREAT CHOICE.
Now, these famed eggplant slices are something I discovered when making eggplant Parmesan for my family a few years ago. I had a few left over that weren't going to fit in my layers of marinara and cheese, so I snacked on them while my dish cooked... They were AWESOME. I could do without the marinara and cheese, these things were like savory cookies, crispy on the outside, melt in your mouth gooey on the inside...
Here's what you do...
You first want to salt the eggplant slices really well, don't worry about cholesterol here, we will rinse them off. But you want to salt them and put them in a strainer in your sink. After about a half hour, they will start to ooze this gross brown liquid. Don't be scurred, this is good. It draws out the natural bitterness of the eggplant.
I can usually only handle it for a half hour, but if you have time, leave those babies in there for up to an hour.
Rinse the eggplant and pat it dry.
Dip each side in a wisked egg, and then coat it in a 1:1 breadcrumb/Parmesan mixture with a pinch of salt. Put the coated eggplant slices on a cookie sheet and give them a little spray with Pam. Bake them at 400 degrees until they're crispy and crunchy on the outside. (Around 10-15 minutes... it's not a perfect science, just poke at them)
Now, I'm not a burger master by any means. I have yet to actually make a great medium burger... So insert your own burger recipe here. I added some chopped onions and basil to mine because that's what made sense in my head.
Gave them a little tan in my in-home tanning bed, I mean my mini Foreman grill.
Layer the "buns" with the sliders and chomp away.
These would have been EVEN BETTER with some fresh mozz and a seasoned tomato, but hindsight is 20/20... amiright?
But the buns are TO DIE FOR. I didn't miss my bread-buns! And trust me, I'm a buns girl. I like a good pair of... ahem... a good bun.
Perfect summer sliders with my first ear of Iowa-grown corn this season! Get out the floss ladies and gents, it's sweet corn season!
And here's a cute bike.