Fried Eggplant with Labne

I'm into labne lately. When I get on a kick, I tend to stick on that kick for a while. Luckily for me, my sister wanted to create an Israeli Feast for a Mother's Day party. We made Israeli salad, chicken kebabs and other typical Middle Eastern dishes. This included fried eggplant with labne.

Eggplant is sometimes looked down upon, as it is a nightshade vegetable. In the early 18th century, eggplant was actually believed to cause insanity. That was obviously proved wrong and now eggplant is known for it's many health benefits.  I believe in these benefits so much that I tend to eat eggplant daily. The skin of an eggplant contains a compound, nasunin, which has been found to protect our brain cell membranes. Eggplant also contains a compound called chlorogenic acid, which is anti-viral, anti-mutagenic (cancer) AND lowers cholesterol.

Labne is a cheese-yogurt hybrid. It has less lactose and sugar than typical yogurt, making it an ideal choice for anyone who is lactose intolerant, limiting dairy or Diabetic. It is rich in probiotics, creating good gut bacteria and healthy digestion. It also tastes like a dream. 

Now, let's get down to business.

What You'll Need:

1 eggplant

canola oil for frying

kosher salt for sprinkling

1 cup labnne

1 cup Greek yogurt

Juice from half a lemon

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons mint, finely chopped

What You'll Do:

1. Peel the eggplant using a vegetable peeler (you can also leave stripes of peel). Slice the eggplant into 1/3” think round or long slices.

2. Arrange the slices in a colander and sprinkle every layer with kosher salt. Put the colander over a large bowl and let the eggplant stand for 30 minutes. 

3. Wash the eggplant under running water then dry with paper towels.

4. In a frying pan over medium heat put 1/4” canola oil for frying. Fry the eggplants in one layer (you will have to do it in two batches) until the slices are deep golden brown. Transfer to a tray lined with paper towels

5. In a medium bowl, mix labne, yogurt, lemon juice and garlic. Add salt to taste.

6. Arrange the eggplant slices on a serving tray, spoon the labneh on top and sprinkle with mint.