Vegan Crunchy Baked Eggplant Bites
- 1 medium size eggplant, sliced 3/8″ thick (try to get a longer, skinnier eggplant rather than a shorter, wider one)
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup flax seeds (or flax meal)
- 1 cup water
- 1.5 cups panko bread crumbs
- olive oil spray
- Prego® Farmers’ Market Classic Marinara
- Slice the eggplant 3/8″ thick.
- Spread the eggplant in a single layer on paper towels. Sprinkle both sides generously with salt and let sit for 10 minutes. This draws out excess moisture. After 10 minutes, you will see beads of condensation drawn out. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Make the flax seed “egg” replacement. In a small bowl, combine the flax seeds with water. Allow to sit for 10 minutes until thickened and gelatinous.
- In another small bowl, combine the flour, salt, pepper and italian seasoning. Stir to combine.
- In another small bowl, add panko bread crumbs.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees with the oven rack in the middle.
Breading and Cooking the Eggplant
- Set up your dredging station: bowl of flour mixture, flax seed mixture, panko, baking sheet.
- Take 1 slice of eggplant. Dip it in the flour so it is coated, shake off excess. Then dip it in the flax seed liquid. Then dip it in the panko bread crumbs, pressing to adhere. Then place it on the baking sheet.
- Repeat with all the eggplant.
- Spray the top of the breaded eggplant with olive oil spray, and sprinkle with salt.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, turning the eggplant half way through, until crispy and golden brown.
- Serve warm with Prego® Farmers’ Market Classic Marinara as a dipping sauce.
- Leftovers will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for 1 week.