Baked Eggplant Fingers
By Deirdre Imus, The Imus Ranch Cooking for Kids and Cowboys
- 2 medium sized organic eggplant(1-2 T salt), sweated and cut into strips or wedges
- ½ cup gluten free flour
- 3 organic eggs, beaten or 3 T flax and ½ cup water
- ½ c non dairy milk
- 2 cups gluten free bread crumbs
- 1 cup organic corn meal or crushed organic corn chips(this is a good use for the crumbs and broken chips at the bottom of a bag J)
- 2 t granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 2 t onion powder
- ½ t cayenne
- 1 T oregano
- 1 T basil
- ½ t sea salt or pink salt
Preheat oven to 400F
Cut eggplant into ~1″ thick rounds and lightly salt each side
Place salted eggplant in colander or on rack for 20 to 30 minutes and allow the salt to draw out excess water and any bitterness.
While waiting for eggplant, combine the breadcrumbs, cornmeal/corn chips, garlic, onion, cayenne, oregano, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Mix well and place and even layer of this mixture into a shallow dish or bowl for use in coating the fries.
Beat together the 3 eggs or flax/water mixture and non dairy milk in a separate bowl
Use clean kitchen towels or paper towel to firmly press the sweated eggplant to remove salt and water that has been drawn out.
The eggplant should appear to have shrunk just a bit and be dry on the outside.
Put the gluten free flour in a bag or large bowl and place a large handful of the eggplant into flour. Shake bag or toss with hands to distribute and light, even dusting of flour on each strip of eggplant.
One by one dip the flour dusted eggplant into the egg mixture making sure the batter coats all parts of each strip.
Place the eggplant into the pan of breadcrumbs and using your hand or a spoon to sprinkle breadcrumbs over the strips so all strips are well coated.
Place breaded eggplant onto baking sheets as they are finished, leaving a bit of room between them to ensure even cooking/browning.
Bake for 12-18 minutes, flipping once or twice, until golden brown and crispy. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
*Try using your favorite herb and spice combinations in flavoring the breadcrumbs to appeal to your personal taste.
Reprinted with permission from the National Bestseller, The Imus Ranch: Cooking for Kids and Cowboys by Deirdre Imus. Published by Rodale, Inc.