Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a sheet pan with cooking spray.
Rinse the eggplant and pat it dry. Place the eggplant on a cutting board and slice off the stem and root ends and discard them. If you wish to peel the eggplant (recommended), use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin and discard it. Slice the eggplant into ⅓-inch thick rounds.
Place the flour in a soup bowl or dinner plate. In another soup bowl, beat two eggs.
Add the bread crumbs to a small mixing bowl or dinner plate. Stir in the Romano cheese, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Set up an assembly line from left to right with the eggplants, flour, eggs, bread crumb mixture and the prepared sheet pan. Have three forks ready.
Use a fork to place an eggplant slice into the flour. Flour both sides, turning over once.
Use another fork to transfer the eggplant slice into the beaten eggs. Turn over to coat both sides, then let the excess egg drip off. Place the eggplant slice into the bread crumbs.
Use another fork to pat the crumbs onto the eggplant, then flip the slice over and bread the other side. Transfer the breaded eggplant to the greased pan.
Continue breading all of the eggplant slices. Place the eggplant slices in a single layer on the sheet pan. Spray the entire surface of the eggplant rounds with cooking spray. (This is important to achieve crispiness.)
Bake the eggplants for 15 minutes on the first side (or until golden brown). Remove the pan from the oven and flip over the eggplants with a spatula. Spray the tops with cooking spray and bake for another five minutes, or until golden brown.
Let the eggplant slices cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve them plain or dip them in marinara sauce or mayonnaise, etc. You also can use them for eggplant Parmigiana, etc.
Cover and refrigerate leftovers for up to four days. See notes for freezing instructions.
Serving size is 4 slices of eggplant. Nutrition information does not include marinara.See this post if you want to make homemade bread crumbs.For a 1.5-pound eggplant, use ½ cup flour, 3 eggs, 1 cup bread crumbs, ½ cup Romano and ¼ teaspoon each of garlic powder, salt and pepper. Use two sheet pans.Can you use Parmesan?You could substitute Parmesan, if needed, but the Romano provides a bolder, saltier flavor. You might need to add a little extra salt if using Parmesan.Make aheadYou can bread these a day ahead of baking them. Refrigerate them on a greased sheet pan lightly covered with foil or wax paper but wait to spray the surface of the eggplant until just before baking them.You also can make and bake the eggplants a day ahead and refrigerate them on the sheet pan, lightly covered. The next day, you can reheat the pan of oven-fried eggplants in a 425-degree oven for 5-7 minutes. They should deepen in color and become crispy again. Don't let them burn.Freezing instructionsYou can freeze breaded eggplant slices without baking them first, or even after they're cooked. If cooked, let them cool off before freezing them.Place the eggplant rounds on a wax-paper-lined sheet pan and flash freeze them for two hours. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag, separating the layers with wax paper. Use the frozen eggplant within three months.Can you make these in the air fryer?Technically, you should be able to make breaded eggplant in the air fryer. However, it's not practical for a large amount of eggplant.This recipe yields about 28 eggplant rounds. Most air fryers have a small capacity, so you would have to cook the eggplants in batches.