Here’s a great twist on finger foods: eggplant fries. Delicious, healthy eggplant made even more delicious and a bit less healthy by breading and frying it into yummy fries. I used chickpea flour (my favorite flour) mixed with a little cornstarch to ensure a crunchy layer protecting the eggplant. Ground flaxseed mixed with water works as a binder for the breading. Any bread crumbs will do. I used gluten-free bread crumbs but if you’re not worried about gluten, go for panko. Spices are added in both layers for lots of flavor. Eggplant really soaks up oil so I try to use as little as necessary. You could deep-fry these but on the other extreme, you could also bake them. I like the middle road of pan-frying. I make a very fast marinara sauce by cooking up some crushed tomatoes with garlic powder, salt, dried basil, dried oregano, black pepper, and a pinch of red chile flakes. It’s done in 15 minutes! My Eggplant Fries are addictive! Creamy, decadent eggplant surrounded by an Italian-flavored crunchy coating. When dipped into marinara sauce, you swear you’re eating eggplant parmigiana. If you’re having company, double the recipe because these will not last long!
Eggplant Fries [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
- 1 eggplant, peeled
- ½ cup chickpea flour
- 1 tsp. cornstarch
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbs. ground flaxseed + 6 Tbs. water
- 1 ½ cups almond milk
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or vegan grated parmesean)
- Canola oil for frying
- Cut the eggplant into large fries. The easiest way to do this is to cut the ends off the eggplant, peel it, then stand it up. Slice the eggplant length-wise into 1/2″ pieces. Then lay each piece down and cut it into 1/2″ strips. If you want your fries long, leave them like this. If you want them shorter, cut those strips in half.
- Mix the flour, cornstarch, and spices in a shallow dish. Mix the flaxseed and water into a loose paste. Add it to the milk in a second shallow bowl. Add the bread crumbs, nutritional yeast (or grated parm), salt and pepper to the third shallow bowl.
- Heat about 2 inches of oil in a pan or skillet. Toss eggplant in the flour mixture, then dip in the milk/flax mixture, then into the bread crumbs.
- Fry the eggplant until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a towel-paper lined plate. Serve with marinara sauce. Enjoy!