Eggplant Fries (baked!) – a healthy side or snack – vegan/gluten free
Personally, I hate eggplants. I bought a few wanting to make a recipe of vegan cheese using the eggplant puree as a base. But as I was chopping up the first eggplant, I realized I really wasn’t going to need two. So alas, I hit the interwebs and searched for a recipe that I wouldn’t totally hate, that involved eggplants. I don’t like the texture of eggplants or the flavor….. however…. this recipe is making me a believer. I based this recipe from the one here, which features an almond crusted Japanese eggplant. Typically, Japanese eggplants aren’t as bitter, so I was worried that using normal eggplants would yield an icky result – so I made them more into fries rather than nuggets. Because I figured when in doubt, the more coating the better ::shrugs::
My amounts might be off on the amount of flour, I didn’t measure anything I actually ended up running out and making a little more – which you can do, it’s really quite simple. Just eyeball the amount you think you’d need, it’s actually a little more than you’d think.
I used a blend of flours because I didn’t have quite enough almond meal to use JUST that, but I like blending flours anyway, I think it gives them a better texture and flavor. You can use whatever flours (well within reason) you want, but just ensure your almond flour reigns most predominant, this adds a nice crunch at the end.
The finished product is a crunchy, super savory, delicious fry with a tender soft inside, that you would never even guess is eggplant.
- About 1/2 C Almond Meal
- 1/4 C Garbanzo Bean Flour
- 1/6 C Rice Flour
- Seasonings of choice (go heavy here, this gives the coating a nice flavor): I opted for a blend of italian seasonings, garlic, onion, basil, oregano etc.
- 1 Large Eggplant
- Few Tablespoons EVOO
- 1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
- Juice of 1 Lemon
- Preheat your oven to 425F
- Mix together your almond meal, rice and garbanzo bean flour, season well and pour onto a large flat plate.
- Whisk together EVOO, Vinegar, Lemon and Salt until blended well.
- Peel the eggplant (annoying but doable) and cut into fry sized thin pieces (don’t go TOO thin, think thin steak fries)
- Dip each eggplant piece in the oil/vinegar bowl, then roll it over the flour mixture, coating well, rolling back and forth as needed to get a nice thick coat. Place on a foil lined baking pan.
- After you’ve done this for all the pieces, drizzle with a bit of oil (You’ll probably have some leftover from your mixture) place in oven for about 12 – 15 minutes, keep an eye on them, don’t let them burn.
- Flip them once, then finish cooking for about 10 minutes, maybe less. Remove when crispy, you may see a few browner than desired, but most should be perfect.
- Let cool a bit, serve with any dip of choice, or eat plain
I ate mine with a sauce made of coconut milk, prik khing paste and a bit of rice vinegar…. but i’m weird 🙂