Oven-Baked Eggplant

Crunchy oven-baked eggplant sticks are served with a dipping sauce, and can make for a nice snack or side dish. (Chris Hanclosky/Staff)

Sierra’s Crunchy Oven-Baked Eggplant

Makes 16 sticks or feeds 3-4

Adapted from an older recipe in Better Homes and Garden magazine, these are surprisingly easy to make. These crunchy, crisp sticks of eggplant are perfect for when you’re craving a salty crunchy snack, but want a healthier option, or as an accompaniment to a meal. — Nathalie Dupree

Ingredients 

3 ounces feta, crumbled

7 ounces plain yogurt, preferably Greek

2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried oregano

2 tablespoons water

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 large eggplant or several small

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

3 eggs, beaten to mix

2 cups of panko or dry bread crumbs

2/3 to 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Directions 

To make the sauce, stir crumbled feta, yogurt, oregano, water and lemon juice in a small bowl. Chill, covered, in the refrigerator. This may be made up to a week ahead of time.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line two large baking sheets or several small baking sheets with parchment or foil. Cut the eggplant into sticks about 3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. Sprinkle the sticks with salt and move to a colander or strainer in the sink for about 15-20 minutes to draw out excess liquid.

Meanwhile, mix the flour with 1 teaspoon salt on a plate. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl. Stir the panko and the parmesan together on a plate or in a bowl. Rinse the eggplant sticks and pat dry with paper towels. Roll the dry sticks one by one in the flour, then the egg, then the panko and parmesan, making sure the sticks are thoroughly coated in each, and move to the baking sheets in one layer, continuing until all of the sticks are done. If you want, grate more parmesan over the top of the sticks. Bake them in the oven at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.

Serve with the dipping sauce.