From Ann Hodgman, author of "Vegan Food for the Rest of Us":
"I've read that the recipe works best with those slim straight Asian eggplants, but we don't have those out in the sticks unless we grow them ourselves."
A one-pound eggplant
3 Tb vegetable oil (not olive oil)
1 1/2 Tb maple syrup
1 1/2 Tb soy sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp Liquid Smoke (I used Wright's applewood flavor in the bacon I made)
1/8 tsp Accent (optional)
Salt and coarsely ground pepper
Cut the eggplant into quarters and then cut each quarter into slices 1/4" thick. (You don't need to peel the eggplant.)
Put the slices on a cutting board or non-reactive tray and sprinkle heavily with salt. Let them stand for half an hour; then blot off the water they've exuded. Turn them over and repeat the process. After the second half-hour, rinse the slices in a colander. Drain them well.
Whisk together the oil, maple syrup, soy sauce, paprika, Liquid Smoke, and Accent. Align the slices in a non-reactive dish that's (ideally) big enough to fit them all in a single layer. Pour the marinade over the slices, flip them once, and let stand for an hour or two. (I'm guessing they could marinate overnight in the fridge, but I've never tried that.)
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with baking parchment or greased foil. Arrange the slices evenly over the sheet. Hang onto the marinade. Bake the slices in the middle of the oven for half an hour; then flip them and brush with the reserved marinade. After another half hour, repeat the process; after the third half-hour has passed, re-flip and re-glaze the slices.
Continue baking until the slices are the color of well-cooked bacon. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt and course-ground pepper. Although the eggplant y'all liked yesterday had been sitting out for 24 hours, it really tastes best served as soon as possible!
Makes -- well, I'm not sure. It seems to me there were about 2 dozen slices yesterday, maybe? And a few bits that weren't big enough to count as slices. They'll keep five days if stored airtight.
For more vegan dishes check out "Vegan Food for the Rest of Us: Recipes Even You Will Love" by Ann Hodgman (Rux Martin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), in Trade Paperback and eBook formats. Available via Amazon
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