I spent last night brainstorming recipes for eggplant in my head.
I thought of a healthy eggplant parm, a poached eggplant omelet and a roasted eggplant n’ vegetable medley…
The list went on and on…
When I was growing up, my Pop-Pop taught me how to make eggplant parm and we honestly made it twice a week as soon as I got home from school. It was amazing and he made the best eggplant parm I’ve ever had. Here we are many years later where I can’t have those glutenous breadcrumbs and still can’t eat dairy, so I decided to get a bit creative and make a simple eggplant dish. Pop-Pop always served his eggplant parm over slippery pasta to soak up all the creamy goodness. It was one of my favorite childhood meals.
But then I grew up, moved to Manhattan and forgot just how good eggplant is.
I had two pretty n’ purple eggplants in my fridge this week and lots of fun condiments from balsamic to paprika and hummus to fresh basil leftover from my guacamole making adventure, and instantly eggplant fries popped into my head.
What a fun snack to make on a chilly Manhattan day. Quick, simple and can be in the oven in less thatn 5 minutes. You only need a few ingredients. Eggplant, check. Sea salt, check. Balsamic vinegar, check. Fresh basil and paprika, check and check. You probably have these ingredients already hiding in your fridge and pantry so it’s an easy one to whip up.
I realized there aren’t too many unique eggplant recipes out there besides the traditional dishes we’re all familiar with, so I decided to whip up a batch of eggplant fries.
Sound fun, doesn’t it?
They can be dipped into my sweet homemade ketchup (that I’ve been making weekly because it’s SO GOOD), fresh tomato sauce or sprinkled with sea salt.
Cooked tender crisp and tossed with fresh organic herbs, these fries are the perfect snack for your 3 PM slump or for the kiddies as an after school snack.
I’m even thinking about serving them with a fancy pesto sauce and balsamic reduction as a holiday appetizer.
Whichever way you decide to nibble on these lil’ guys, you’re gunna be happy you made ’em.
You might like them so much that you make ’em again next week.
Gluten-Free and Vegetarian
- 1 large eggplant
- 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup green tea, brewed and chilled
- Juice of 1 fresh lemon
- 1/3 tsp. sea salt
- 5 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 2 Tbsp. ground flax seeds
Sweet Raisin Ketchup
- 1 large heirloom tomato, diced
- 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1/2 small shallot, diced
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 Medjool dates, pitted
- 2 Tbsp. golden raisins
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- pinch sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine balsamic, olive oil, green tea, lemon juice, sea salt, basil, paprika and flax seeds; mix well to combine. Set aside.
- Slice eggplant into 1/3 inch slices. Dip each eggplant slice into balsamic mixture to coat. Place eggplant slices onto a baking sheet or roasting pan. Toss lemon wedges on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Meanwhile, make the ketchup by combining all the ketchup ingredients in a food processor; process until smooth and transfer to a small bowl and serve with the fries for a sweet dipping sauce.
- Remove the fries from oven; set aside to cool for 2 minutes.
- Serve warm with the sweet ketchup or fresh tomato sauce, pesto or hummus for dipping. Store leftover ketchup in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Share your thoughts
This looks great! Does the texture come out “squishy” though? I’ve never had much success with eggplant but truthfully have only tried sauteing it in the past.
Thanks Jen; great to hear from you! I’ve made these fries 3 times since I created this recipe and I let them bake for a long time so they weren’t mushy. Give it a try; I hope you enjoy them.
trying this tonight!! thank you!
Thank you Nan! Hope you enjoy it!
Amie – I am so glad I am not the only one with a large carry-on of just food! 🙂 Whenever I travel I always have a backpack full of items I can eat. I have now been gluten free for two years, and have a hard time with dairy. When traveling, it gets interesting to say the least. I always bring protein / nut bars (Lara bars and Kind bars are my favorite), crackers, dried fruit, and Justin’s peanut / almond butter packs. Like you I look up the nearest Whole Foods / Trader Joe’s or other natural food store to grab some fresh produce that is hard to carry (bagged apple slices are usually my favorite). Thanks for your inspiration and tips! I am glad to know I am not the only one in the airport that people look at weird! 😉
Sorry…posted at the wrong location…we’ll try this again.
These sounds delicious. I am curious about the use of the green tea so i am going to have to try these. Hummus and eggplant fries would be an ideal snack for me.. – yum!
Thanks Sherilyn; hope you are well. I was Just thinking about you this morning! I miss you and hope you have a wonderful weekend. Hummus pairs perfectly with these fun fries. Enjoy.
Very Creative! The Eggplant fries look delicious! I will definitely be trying this recipe!
Thanks Jamie. So great to hear from you. I miss you; we need to catch up…let’s do a phone chat soon….xoxo