As soon as I discovered this recipe for eggplant bacon, I began making it at least once a week. Not only is it pretty easy to make, but it is absolutely divine. I put it on sandwiches, serve it with breakfast, use it in sushi, stuff it with vegan cheese or pesto, and snack on it alone…although it is quite salty so I recommend serving it with something fresh.
I also live in Italy so my fridge always has one or two eggplants just sitting around. I love making eggplant parmesan and I make a number of other dishes with the vegetable as its base (baba ghanoush, caponata, etc..) but there are some days I notice the eggplants at the bottom of the vegetable bin and know that if I don’t do something with them quickly, they will probably go past their fresh date and be wasted. This is when eggplant bacon comes in! This, among other times.
There are a number of eggplant bacon recipes flying around the internet. I have tried out about 5 of them and they are all good. This recipe below, however, has been perfected by yours truly and received approval by a great number of meat-eating cynics.
If you do try it out, let me know what you think!
- 1 medium eggplant
- ¼ cup gluten-free tamari
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- cracked black pepper (about ¼ tsp)
- Thinly slice the eggplant lengthwise and sprinkle with salt. Place the eggplant in a strainer and let sit for about 20 minutes. (this will allow the water to drain from the eggplant)
- While the eggplant slices sit, stir together the remaining ingredients.
- Rinse the salt off of the eggplant and add the slices to the marinade. Stir to coat. Let sit for about 1 hour at room temp stirring/flipping every so often
- Place the marinated slices on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Pour about half of the remaining marinade over the pieces
- In a preheated oven (120C/250F), place the tray/s with the eggplant and let back for about 45 minutes.
- Flip the eggplant and drizzle a bit more of the marinade on top of the pieces.
- Bake for another 5-7 minutes or until the slices are browned on both sides.
* The eggplant bacon can be cooked in a skillet as well but I find that the texture comes out much more like real bacon when done in the oven.