Eggplant can be an intimidating ingredient for anyone to cook with or eat, and it takes a few tries before your taste buds approve of the unique flavor and texture.  We love Eggplant at Taste Buds Kitchen, it is one of our favorite recipes in our Adult BYOB Taste of Italy cooking class.  While this recipe goes over really well with our adult crowd, we searched for a version of it that was more kid-friendly.

Our kids love “finger foods” at Taste Buds Kitchen, something they can snack on during story time, and dip into a tasty sauce.  The best trick to introduce a new ingredient to a young chef is to compare it to a similar food that they know and love – like French Fries.

This recipe has the added benefit of being healthy, eggplant has a good amount of potassium and vitamins, we take it one step further by baking our Eggplant Fries instead of deep frying them in oil.

Interested to learn more about eggplants? Check out this great article.

Baked Eggplant Fries

    1. Choose a firm and fresh eggplant from the store.  The fresher the eggplant is, the smaller the seeds inside will be and the milder the flavor.  Cut your eggplant into 1/2 inch coins.  It is important that they aren’t too thin so they hold their fry shape during the baking process.
      Taste Buds Kitchen - Baked Eggplant 4
    2. Cut your eggplant coins into 1/2 inch batons, discard the ends that are all peel, as the peel can be a bit tough.
      Taste Buds Kitchen - Baked Eggplant 5
    3. Make a seasoned breadcrumb mixture for the eggplant.  Eggplant has a very mild flavor, so season your breadcrumb mixture really well.  We put into ours: Thyme, Oregano, Parsley, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Parmesan, Salt and Pepper.  We also use half regular breadcrumbs and half Panko breadcrumbs for an extra crunchy texture.
      Taste Buds Kitchen - Baked Eggplant 3
    4. The breading procedure that we use for our Eggplant Fries is a Standard Breading Procedure.  This same method can be used for chicken cutlets or fish filets as well.
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    5. In order to prevent the dreaded “claw” from dipping your hands into egg and then breadcrumb – and back again.  The trick is to keep one hand as your “wet hand” and the other as your “dry hand”Taste Buds Kitchen - Baked Eggplant 7
      • Start with your left hand (dry hand) and dip your eggplant piece into the flour, pull it out and drop it into the egg mixture.
      • Switch to your right hand (wet hand) to coat all the way around in egg mixture and then drop into your seasoned breadcrumbs.
      • Switch back to your left hand (dry hand) to coat with breadcrumb all around and place finished eggplants on a sheet tray.Taste Buds Kitchen - Baked Eggplant 8
    6. These tasty fries are good on their own or served with a Zesty Tzatziki Sauce (download recipe below).    Taste Buds Kitchen - Baked Eggplant 9

Download PDF Recipe – Tzatziki Sauce

Download PDF Recipe – Eggplant Fries