Farmers Markets are my happy place. I make a point of visiting them weekly ( I know it’s an addiction). It’s what I like to do on Saturday morning and Thursday nights, luckily my husband loves it as well! We are lucky enough to have two Saturday morning Farmers’ Markets – one downtown and one at the Grove School. My Saturday’s are leisurely I usually check out both Markets and scope the yard sales in between 😉 Downtown Redlands is one of my favorite places. Farmers Markets, a coffee at Augie’s (if you are a local and have not visited Augie’s do it!!!), peruse the produce, live music & food prepared by local restaurants! Something about all of this makes me happy. Farmer’s Markets are a fantastic source for fresh, seasonal, locally produced foods. Here in California the weather has been splendid almost summer like, our local Farmers Market has been packed with gems. Behold this beautiful eggplant! I’m obsessed with eggplants. Baby Eggplants, White Eggplant, the stripy purple and white eggplant called Rosa Bianca. And my favorite, the Japanese Eggplant. They happen to have a thinner skin and sweeter flavor and I love ‘em.
This past Thursday I picked up two Japanese Eggplants from the farmers market and decided to make Eggplant Chips! I thinly sliced the eggplants, making sure to keep the skin in tact, because I love the color! You can take it off if it’s not your thing. I liberally salted them and let them sit for an hour or so to get some of the water out. Let them rest this is important.
I then brushed them with garlic infused olive oil, and bake them for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees until they were just slightly crisp but not yet burnt. Before they cool down I like to sprinkle freshly ground black pepper. I compliment the chips with marinara Sauce from Trader Joe’s! I like to top the marinara sauce with fresh basil and great Parmesan.
- Slice the eggplants into 1/3 inch thick rounds and lay onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Sprinkle the sea salt over the eggplant and let sit for about an hour
- With a paper towel blot off the salt and water and place back onto parchment paper
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Using a small brush, brush the olive oil mixture onto both sides of the eggplant.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes. Keep an eye on the eggplant don’t let them burn
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with freshly ground pepper
- Serve immediately with the Marinara Sauce.
* This method can be used to make all sorts of veggie chips