Katie Button, Executive Chef/Owner of Cùrate in Asheville, N.C.
- Eggplant — the skinnier Japanese variety or smaller size traditional eggplant
- Whole milk
- All purpose flour
- Local honey
- Fresh rosemary
- Cut tops and bottoms off each eggplant and peel. Slice eggplant(s) ½ inch thick. As you slice the eggplant put into a large container with enough milk to cover. You will likely have to weigh the eggplant down to keep it submerged in the milk. Soak overnight.
- Heat a frying pan with vegetable oil until 350° or when a drop of water splatters, make sure there is enough oil to cover the eggplant slices when you put them in. When ready to serve, drain the eggplant from the milk, dredge them in flour and tap off excess flour. Drop into oil and fry until golden brown (not too dark and don’t crowd the pan or let pieces overlap; you want 1 layer of eggplant frying), flipping the eggplant slices during cooking for even browning.
- Salt the eggplant as it comes out of the fryer. Drain on wire rack. Squeeze some honey onto the fried eggplant while on the wire rack. Top each piece of eggplant with 1-2 rosemary leaves.