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Eggplant Crab Cakes

Yield 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds fresh lump crabmeat, divided
  • 2 medium eggplant
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine, divided
  • 6 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram leaves
  • 1 pickled pepperoncini pepper, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups soft bread crumbs, divided*
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Garnishes: lemon wedges, thyme sprigs, red pepper strips

How to Make It

  1. Drain crabmeat, removing any bits of shell or cartilage; set aside.

  2. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and sprinkle with salt. Place, cut side down, in a 9- x 13-inch baking pan; add 1 cup water.

  3. Bake, covered, at 400° for 40 minutes or until tender; set aside.

  4. Sauté onion and garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil in a large non-stick skillet 5 minutes or until tender. Add 1/4 cup wine, celery, and next 3 ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside.

  5. Spoon pulp from eggplant, discarding peel. Pulse eggplant and vegetable mixture in a food processor 4 times or until coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess.

  6. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet. Add 1 pound crabmeat and remaining wine; bring to a boil. Add eggplant mixture, pepperoncini, salt, and pepper, tossing gently. Remove from heat and cool. Add 1 cup bread crumbs and cheese; toss gently.

  7. Shape into 8 (3 1/2-inch) patties; dredge in remaining bread crumbs.

  8. Cook 4 patties in 1 1/2 teaspoons hot oil in a large skillet 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden brown. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and patties. Serve with remaining crabmeat. Garnish, if desired.

  9. *Note: Softbread crumbs are made by placing bread slices in a food processor or blender processing. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one week or up to six months in freezer.