Berenjenas rebozadas or eggplant beignets are a vegetarian tapa consisting of eggplant or aubergine slices coated in flour and beaten egg, then fried in olive oil to make the tastiest vegetable beignets.
The Mediterranean diet boasts in Spain amazing recipes like these berenjenas rebozadas, literally meaning “coated eggplants”: the coating and frying of the eggplant turn the slices into soft bites with all the flavor of the egg coating.
Although common in many areas, this tapa is famously paired with a drizzle of honey or sugar cane molasses in Andalusia and especially in the province of Málaga: a delicious combination.
For this simple tapa the best eggplants are needed: avoid unripe eggplant (very commonly found in Spain nowadays…) and try to use seasonal produce. In Spain, in the Northern hemisphere, the eggplant season runs from October to April.
- 2 eggplants
- AP flour, rice flour or chickpea flour for coating
- 2 eggs, beaten
- Salt to taste
- Honey for serving
- Diagonally slice the eggplant into ⅓" (1cm) slices, salting them as you go and laying them on a colander to make them release their bitter juices.
- Let rest for 1 hour.
- The slices will be wet with their juices, so pat them dry with some kitchen paper.
- Place a shallow platter with the flour beside a bowl with the beaten egg.
- Pour olive oil in a medium size pan, so much that the slices can float when frying. Heat to medium-low.
- Coat the eggplant slices first in flour (shake off the excess) and then in the beaten egg. Transfer to the pan and fry till golden on both sides. The eggplant should cook through.
- Proceed till all the slices are fried, transfering them to a platter lined with kitchen paper in order to absorb some of the oil.
- Serve immediately while warm with a drizzle of honey or molasses.
Tips for perfect berenjenas rebozadas or eggplant beignets:
- Like mentioned above, product quality is key for a perfect berenjena rebozada tapa: use the best seasonal eggplants you can find.
- Use a fine Spanish extra virgin olive oil in this recipe.
- For crispier slices, once fried drain them shortly on some crumpled kitchen paper so that the air can flow around them. They tend to get soggy overtime though, because of the moisture the vegetable oozes. The eggplant beignets are at their best just out of the pan.
- In the recipe 3 different types of flour are suggested; all are equally good, choice should depend more on your personal taste.
- The beignets can be prepared only with the flour coating, skipping the egg. They will be a bit lighter; try both types and decide for yourself. For an even lighter tapa, skip the honey.
Berenjenas rebozadas or eggplant beignets are one of the healthiest tapas to be found, Mediterranean diet at its best. Take one slice, drizzle with honey, take a sip of a chilled dry Sherry and enjoy!