I came home from work last week and found a wonderful gift on the back porch: two eggplants and several banana peppers. When I saw the eggplant, I knew immediately that I wanted to make crispy oven-baked fries.
I had visions of my family, toddlers and picky husband included, eating them together, exclaiming how delicious they were and why do we even need French fries when we have these?
In reality, it looked more like this: Jon was gone, so I made the fries while I introduced the kids to The Little Mermaid. The whole time I was cooking, I hyped them: “Mama’s making fries! Let’s have a picnic in the living room and eat the fries! Who wants delicious fries?”
When the fries were done, the three of us squeezed on to a bath towel on the floor with a bowl of oven-warm fries in front of us. Bennie grabbed one to feed me but wouldn’t eat it herself. Griffin shook his head, insisted “I want yellow” and went back to lining up his planes.
Because the kids wouldn’t even taste these, I ate my share plus their’s. I can say with good authority that they’re delicious. The outside is crunchy and crispy and flavorful, while the inside is mild and tender. If your kids are even slightly more adventurous than mine, they’ll love these.
Crispy Parmesan Eggplant Fries
adapted from Closet Cooking
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick sticks
2/3 cup flour
3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and lightly spray a foil-covered baking sheet with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, seasoned salt, garlic powder, and pepper. In a separate medium bowl, lightly beat the two eggs. In a third medium bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and Italian seasoning.
In batches of 4-6 “fries” at a time, coat eggplant in flour, then eggs, then breadcrumbs. Make sure sticks are evenly coated with each mixture before moving to the next. After the breadcrumbs, place fries on the baking sheet in a single layer.
Bake for 8-12 minutes, until crispy and just beginning to turn golden in spots. Serve with warm marinara sauce for dipping.
I want to know: what’s your favorite way to prepare eggplant?