A while back, I decided to go to a new local spice store, called Red Stick Spice Company. I remember seeing them on Groupon, and thought…oh gosh…this could be a very good thing. Every time my husband and I go to Houston, we usually drive to Penzey’s, because the quality of spices and blends there are just amazing. I’m like a kid in a candy store there, so I was hoping this new place would be similar.
It turns out that this little spice store was one of the most GENIUS ideas for home cooks. A spice store where you can buy as little or as much as you want (sold by weight), instead of buying things by the bottle. I mean…how many times do you need a tsp. of a certain spice, and you never use it again? Genius, I tell you!
I was sold. The last time I went was around the holidays, so I bought some blends for gifts, a TON of cinnamon & nutmeg and a few random spices that caught my eye. A few months later, I peeked into the disaster that was my spice cabinet, and saw a bag of Za’atar. Um….yeah. Could not remember what recipe I bought that for, so I googled recipes and stumbled upon this recipe for eggplant fries. (I STILL don’t remember what I bought this spice for…it’s really bothering me lol!)
Now, I don’t eat eggplant very much, because I always seem to forget about this veggie. I love eggplant, however, my husband does not. So, the week he went out of town, I decided to make these fries happen with my sous chef (the dog) standing below, waiting hopelessly for me to drop something.
These fries were flavorful, crispy and very simple to throw together. I forgot how much I love baked eggplant, and they were perfection when dipped in hummus.
Just to note: Red Stick Spice Company or Penzey’s didn’t compensate me to write this post. They probably have no idea I exist.
Baked Za’atar Eggplant Fries
Source: The Kitch’n
- 1 large eggplant
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 3 tbsp. grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup za’atar spice blend
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 2 large eggs
- flaky salt, to finish
- hummus, for dipping
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place a wire cooling rack on top of a rimmed cookie sheet (to ensure that all sides of the fries get crispy) and set aside.
- Slice the eggplant into 1/2″ thick rounds, and then slice each round piece into 1/2″ thick “fries”. Set aside.
- Take out three bowls for the batter process. Fill one with the flour, another with the eggs (well beaten), and the third, combine the panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, za’atar, salt and cayenne.
- Using one hand, dip the eggplant fries in the flour and make sure they’re evenly coated in flour. Then with another hand, grab the fries and dunk them in the egg, making sure that all sides are coated in egg, and place in the third bowl. With the hand that dipped the eggplant fries in the flour, roll the eggplant fries in the panko mixture. This ensures that you don’t end up with a clumpy egg-y panko mix all over your hands…use one hand for dry…one hand for the wet.
- Lay each eggplant fry close to one another on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake the fries until they are golden brown and crispy, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle the fries with flaky salt right as they come out of the oven, and enjoy with hummus!