Recipe: Eggplant Paper

I actually adapted this recipe for eggplant “jerky,” but because I did mine in the oven it shriveled and quickly gained the consistency of, well, paper. With a few tries I finally came up with a version that’s delightfully burnt and crispy around the edges, a little chewy in the middle.

2 medium eggplants, sliced thinly
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon suger
1 1/2 tbsp fresh ginger
seasoned salt, to taste

Remove the stem end and quarter the eggplants. Using a cheese slicer, make as many thin slices of eggplant as you can, discarding the outer skin section. (Too chewy. You could also use a mandolin if you’re cool enough to have one. The Sig Fig would like to try thicker slices, since they end up so tasty but the consistency of paper, but I like this thin slicing method. Also, I really like slicing things other than cheese with my cheese slicer.) Put into a large container with a lid.

In a blender (or a food processor, I suppose), combine garlic, olice oil, vinegar, and ginger. Pour it into the eggplant, turning to coat. Marinate for at least 8 hours. (I cheated and pulled them out at 7, which I think turned out okay, but today’s bath, which sat overnight, was even better.)

When you’ve had your fill of marinating, slap those puppies on a baking sheet and put them in a 375º oven. I find that it’s good to salt the strips before they go in, but I forgot on a couple batches and they were just fine salted after. The orginal recipe calls for 20-25 minutes, but really you should just keep an eye on them; sliced so thinly, they can get burnt in a hurry. I’d look for slightly blackened edges.

A note on my modifications: the “jerky” consistency comes from a dehydrator, which the original recipe calls for, but I don’t have one of those. We thought the slightly crispy slices could go nicely on a pizza. I didn’t use chili pepper, though I can see that a little zing might be nice. I also went ahead and used sugar instead of agave–the original recipe calls for 3 tablespoons raw agave.

I think these would take well to a variety of marinades. Teryaki might be nice on a pizza with pineapple. I plan to try a mixture of tamari and sesame oil next; I suspect that it’ll take less sesame oil than I used olive oil, since that stuff is potent.

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4 Responses to Recipe: Eggplant Paper

  1. a-k says:

    hi! i read your post and adjusted my own tips about doing these in the oven based on your experiences. i didn’t actually make an oven-baked version, so mine was more of a guess based on how we prepare eggplant at work. i’m glad you tried it and i could adjust it a bit! …. sorry about the “paper” 😦

  2. pandanose says:

    Oh, I didn’t mind the “paper” quality at all! (I just let the first batch go a little too long, so I had to do some soaking of that baking pan.) Love the recipe, though! It got me thinking about getting a dehydrator- your pictures look better than my oven version…

  3. nate dern says:

    sounds delicious. i’m going to give it a try in a few weeks once my life settles down a bit.

  4. pandanose says:

    Hi Nate! It is pretty delish. I’m going to do an update post soon, but the short story: my recipe for the tamari version was Way off and basically inedible, but the original is Amazing on pizza.

    (I miss you! You may have finally given me the reason to go to New York sometime this summer, even though it’s a city I find entirely too large and overwhelming.)

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