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September 24, 2009

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip

I love eggplant. I wasn't always smitten with this lovely plant, but over time it is one of those things that has grown on me and then some! It's amazing how tastes change over time.

There are many ways to prepare eggplant, but I have to say this version has to be my all time favorite! These "fries" are just perfect and I seriously think I've found a new addiction! If you want something a little different, and a little bit healthier than your average fry, then look no further...You've found exactly what you didn't know you were looking for!

What You'll Need:
1 eggplant, cut into strips
1 cup of plain bread crumbs
1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of finely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
Extra sea salt for sprinkling
Extra finely ground black pepper for sprinkling
Extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Cut the top and bottom off of your eggplant:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Eggplant "Fries": Top and Bottom

Cut the eggplant in half:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Eggplant "Fries": Halves

And then cut the halves in half:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Eggplant "Fries": Quarters

Next cut the eggplant quarters into slices roughly 1/4 of an inch thick:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Eggplant "Fries": Slices

Now cut the eggplants pieces into strips roughly the size of french fries:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Eggplant "Fries": Strips

Continue cutting strips until you run out of eggplant. Place all of the strips on a plate:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Eggplant "Fries": Eggplant Strips Ready to Dredge

Sprinkle strips with sea salt, finely ground black pepper and drizzle with olive oil:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Eggplant "Fries": Sea Salt, Pepper and Olive Oil

Toss around to coat. It's easiest to just use your hands for this step.

Set aside for a few moments.

Now you are going to mix up your breading. In a shallow dish, such as a pie dish, stir together bread crumbs, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon each of sea salt, finely ground black pepper and oregano. Mix well.

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Eggplant "Fries": Breading

Roll sticks in breading mixture:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Eggplant "Fries": Ready to Dredge

Until coated on all sides and then place on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Eggplant "Fries": Ready to Bake

Make sure the "fries" are mostly not touching.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Eggplant "Fries": Baked

Serve immediately with Creamy Onion Dip (see below).

Notes: You can use this method with mushrooms, zucchini or yellow squash as well. You can store any left over breading in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a month. It's good on chicken too.

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Creamy Onion Dip

What You'll Need for the Creamy Onion Dip:
1/2 cup of light sour cream
1/4 cup of chopped dried onions
1/4 cup of boiling water
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder (Note: You can use garlic salt if you like, but if you do omit the sea salt below.)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

While the "fries" are baking make your dip.

Place dried onions in the bottom of a glass bowl:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Creamy Onion Dip: Dried Onions

Pour boiling water over the onions:

Eggplant "Fries" with Creamy Onion Dip: Creamy Onion Dip: Onions Soaking

Let sit until water is all or mostly absorbed by the onions.

This will take 1-3 minutes. Don't worry if all of the water isn't absorbed. A tablespoon or so at the bottom isn't a big deal and actually helps the dip come together.

Stir in seasonings and sour cream and mix until completely incorporated. Chill or serve imediately.

Notes: If you don't have, or can't find dried onions, then you can caramelize 1/2 of a small onion and use that instead.

Posted by Dianne at September 24, 2009 9:58 AM

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Comments

Your photography skills are amazing! I especially liked your first photo of the eggplant fries, it reminded me of a starfish!

Posted by: Noelle Markus at September 24, 2009 8:31 PM

This recipe looks wonderful and I was pleasantly surprised to see that these fries are baked! I can't wait to try it and see if my kids like it!

Posted by: Mariah at September 25, 2009 10:51 AM

Thanks Noelle!

Mariah, hope they enjoy them! Alexis decided not to try them, but I think she would have liked them if she had.

Posted by: Dianne at September 25, 2009 12:14 PM

What a delicious post! I love roasted eggplants in sandwiches and I am sure they won't disappoint as fries as well! Thank you for sharing.

Posted by: lalaine at September 28, 2009 12:23 AM

What a great idea! I hadn't thought of using eggplant in a sandwich. Now my mind has all sorts of ideas!

Posted by: Dianne at September 28, 2009 10:35 AM

What a cool take on fries -- do they stand up well (as in not get too mushy to pick up) when cooked? For a healthier take, I am a big fan of sweet potato fries, but I really like the idea of these as well.

Posted by: Sarah Caron at September 28, 2009 4:51 PM

They held up really well. Not mushy at all.

I LOVE sweet potatoes fries. I make the oven version a lot!

Posted by: Dianne at September 28, 2009 5:02 PM

Hi Dianne,

I found this delish recipe googling how to cut eggplant fries and referenced your recipe plus a link to the steps for my vegan eggplant fries recipe. I couldn't find an email to let you know so i am posting here. Check it out and I hope that is okay! =)

http://virtuallyveganmama.blogspot.com/

Jen

Posted by: Virtually Vegan Mama at June 14, 2011 7:50 AM

Jen, no problem. I'm glad I could help!

Posted by: Dianne at June 15, 2011 10:34 AM

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