Eggplant parm fries
Here’s a classic Italian dish turned into unexpected finger food. Eggplant will never get crunchy on its own in the oven, so we first give the eggplant sticks a dunk in an eggwash before dredging in a light coating of whole wheat breadcrumbs. Because eggplant contains so much moisture, know that these fries won’t stay crispy for very long, so for maximum crispness, eat these right after baking. For a fun and flavorful dipping sauce, serve these veggie fries with a bowl of warm marinara sauce as a zesty stand-in for the usual ketchup.
1½ pound(s), (1 large)
Canned tomato paste
Whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 cup(s), Italian-seasoned
Grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup(s), preferably finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
2. Trim and peel eggplant. Cut off a thin sliver of the rounded sides so eggplant can sit flat (reserve for another use). Cut eggplant lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices; cut each slice into 1/2-inch-thick sticks and then slice each stick in half again (you should have 48 fries).
3. In a shallow bowl, whisk together egg whites, tomato paste and water. In another shallow bowl, combine breadcrumbs and cheese.
4. Dip each eggplant fry into egg white mixture and turn to coat; gently shake off excess. Next, place in breadcrumb mixture and turn to coat; place on prepared pan and repeat with remaining ingredients (make sure fries do not touch or overlap).
5. Coat fries with cooking spray and bake until brown and crunchy, about 25 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack and cool for a few minutes.
6. Serving size: 12 fries.