Bite-sized eggplant parmesan is a cute holiday appetizer idea, served with tomato sauce as a dip. Or, serve them on toothpicks with a cherry tomato and a bit of fresh basil.
These eggplant bites are truly a treat. Crunchy on the outside, perfectly firm and flavorful on the inside. I’m looking forward to pulling my leftovers out of the freezer and enjoying these again.
One of the tricks to firm-not-soggy eggplant is to draw out the moisture with salt first, then squeezing the living daylights out of the eggplant pieces with the help of a kitchen towel to get them as dry as possible. This way, your breading will stay crispy in the oven as the eggplant cooks, instead of soggy in a pool of eggplant water.
I also made a really simple vegan parmesan using raw almonds that tastes pretty darn on-point and makes a great addition to the breading layer, along with panko and whole wheat breadcrumbs.
Serve these as finger foods with pasta sauce as a dip or assemble single-bite canapés on a cocktail toothpick with a basil leaf and half a cherry tomato.
Baked Eggplant Parmesan Bites
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place cubed eggplant in a colander and toss with the 2 teaspoons or so of salt. Allow the eggplant to sit and "sweat" over the sink for 15 minutes. Then, rinse the eggplant thoroughly to remove the salt and transfer the eggplant to a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze excess moisture firmly – don't be shy!
Make the parm. Combine all vegan parmesan ingredients in a food processor and process until fine crumbs form. Next, combine the parmesan with the panko, breadcrumbs, oregano and parsley and mix.
In a separate bowl, combine the vegan yogurt, lemon juice, dairy-free milk, paprika, onion powder and black pepper. Whisk.
Dip the eggplant into the yogurt mixture, shake off excess and then roll in the breadcrumb mixture. Place the coated bites on parchment-lined baking sheets.
Spray or drizzle the bites with oil and then bake for 15 minutes. Flip, and drizzle with more oil if needed, then bake for another 15 minutes.
Serve with warm pasta sauce as a dip.
Bites can be pan-fried if preferred.