I’ve spent many years as a vegetarian, vegan, and straight-up raw foodist. As a chef, one of the flavors and textures I’ve missed the most has been that of crispy bacon. This version is similar to my mushroom bacon, but uses up those big, fat eggplants so you can make a lot at once. It’s addictive. Have it on a salad, or on a sandwich for a “B”-L-T! Keep your eyes peeled for more additional recipes that incorporate this delicious treat as part of a more intricate meal.
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 as an appetizer
1 medium eggplant (about 1 1lb), any variety will do, but the long fat ones are easiest to work with
a good amount of sea salt
4 tbsp Bragg’s liquid aminos, Tamari, or Nama Shoyu
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
1 tbsp raw honey or maple syrup
2 teaspoons smoked paprika, or 1 teaspoon chipotle + 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
pinch of cumin
several turns of fresh black pepper
1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the skins from the eggplant.
2. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. With cut side down, slice eggplant into 1/8-1/4 inch strips. Depending on how wide your eggplant is, you may wish to halve the strips to have more bacon-sized pieces.
3. Place a colander over a bowl. Toss the eggplant strips with several pinches of salt. This helps to draw out excess moisture (and bitterness) reducing the eggplant’s time in the oven. Allow the eggplant to sit for at least 20 minutes, up to overnight.
4. Meanwhile, make the marinade. Mix remaining ingredients together with a whisk. Taste, it should be smoky, salty, sweet and little bit spicy. Adjust the seasoning to your liking.
5. After the eggplant has rested, squeeze out as much remaining moisture with your hands as possible. Carefully peel pieces of eggplant apart and place in the marinade--make sure all pieces are covered. Marinate for at least 20 minutes, up to 8 hours.
6. Preheat oven to the lowest temperature (usually about 170 degrees.)
7. Lay strips of eggplant lengthwise in a small baking dish, making sure not to overlap pieces. Pour any remaining marinade over top.
8. Bake in the oven at least 1 hour, until bacon starts to firm and crisp. Once the top is crispy, flip bacon to crisp the second side. Keep a close eye on your bacon to see that it does not burn. Test a piece by breaking off an end. If it breaks and crumbles like real crispy bacon, it is ready.
9. Serve warm or store in an airtight container on the countertop, not in the refrigerator.
+ Good source of fiber
+ High in antioxidants
* Every single recipe on this website uses nature’s ingredients, only. Always choose organic, local and seasonal whenever possible.
This recipe was created by Chef Hannah Gruber.
Photo thanks to Roxxe NYC Photography.
This recipe is part of © 2014 The Earth Diet ™ All Rights Reserved
The Earth Diet
These March recipes are created by Chef Hannah Gruber who lives the lifestyle.