Finding whole food snacks on my quest to avoid processed foods has been challenging. I usually reach for carrot sticks and the always present bowl of homemade hummus in the fridge for snacking emergencies. When I’m not hungry, just peckish, I make kale chips.
Today however, I had the munchies, bad.
Do you know that feeling when you feel like something but just can’t put your finger on what you actually want? You pace the kitchen, check the fridge, then the pantry, then the fridge again just in case something magically appeared that wasn’t there 4 seconds ago?
There was an eggplant in the crisper, stale bread on the bench and a bag of zaa’tar in the pantry.
Middle Eastern Za’atar Crumbed Eggplant Chips
- 1 large eggplant (aubergine)
- ¼ cup plain flour
- ¾ cup bread or panko crumbs
- 3 eggs, beaten
- ¼ cup za’atar spice mix*
- Sea salt
- Olive Oil or spray
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C.
Trim the ends of the eggplant and discard. Slice the eggplant into 2 cm thick slices then across to make ‘chips’.
Pour the flour, bread/panko crumbs and eggs into separate bowls. Combine 1 tablespoon of za’atar into the beaten eggs, then 1 tablespoon za’atar into the breadcrumb bowl and another tablespoon za’atar into the flour bowl.
Toss the eggplant chips into the flour, dunk them into the egg mix and finally into the breadcrumb bowl. Sprinkle any remainder za’atar spice mix over the top.
Lay the coated eggplant chips onto a baking tray, spray lightly with olive oil and bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes until crispy. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt flakes while they’re hot.
To serve, combine a simple yoghurt dip by combining natural Greek style yoghurt, olive oil, dried mint and a sprinkle of paprika.
The nature of eggplant means these chips won’t stay crispy for long, so devour immediately and satisfy those cravings!!
*Za’atar is a spice mix found in all Middle Eastern specialty stores, and now in most deli’s and supermarkets. Za’atars fragrant and tangy mix contains dried wild thyme, sumac and sesame seeds.
**If you’re not feeling adventurous enough to try Za’atar, you could easily transform this dish from Middle Eastern to Italian by substituting za’atar with fresh parmesan cheese.