Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- 2 Tbsp. plus 1/2 tsp.salt, divided
- 2 eggplants
- 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of cayenne (optional)
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- In a large bowl dissolve 2 Tbsp. salt in 1 cup warm water. Add 3 quarts cold water. Set aside.
- Trim eggplant and cut into ½-inch thick, 3- to 4-inch long sticks. Put in salt water, submerge with an upside-down plate, and let sit 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, remaining ½ tsp. salt, pepper, and cayenne, if you like. Add oil and use your fingers to work the oil into the breadcrumb mixture. Transfer to a large plate or shallow bowl. Set aside.
- Whisk eggs to break them up completely. When you lift the whisk up it should be as lifting it out of water.
- Preheat oven to 425. Liberally oil a large baking sheet (or use nonstick).
- Drain and thoroughly dry eggplant sticks.
- Keeping one hand dry and one hand wet, dip an eggplant stick in the eggs, lift in out and shake off any excess egg, put stick in bread crumbs mixture and coat completely, lift out and shake off any excess bread crumbs, transfer stick to prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining sticks.
- Bake, turning once, until browned, crispy, and tender to the bite, about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
Makes 4 to 6 servings Oven-Fried Eggplant Sticks.