Once upon a time, I stumbled across a recipe for “eggplant bacon” and it was good. It not longer exists on the interwebs, I looked behind every virtual couch, I swear. So I will post my version of it here, which is an adaptation. The original called for liquid smoke and well, that stuff’s a little too mysterious for my liking so I used smoked paprika instead. It came out tasting a little like bacon and looking more like bacon than I’d bargained for. Make it for breakfast, put it in pasta, top soups with it, and definitely stuff it into sandwiches. Oh, and totally, totally put it on pizza.
1 large Italian eggplant, trimmed and cut into 8 pieces, lengthwise
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 475F degrees.
Slice the eggplant pieces as thinly as possible lengthwise. I find a sharp knife works even better than an mandolin in this case.
Whisk the smoked paprika and salt into the oil. Use a pasty brush to brush the seasoned oil onto the eggplant slices. Lay eggplant slices on greased wire rack set on top of a baking sheet. Alternatively, set on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the slices have browned and are just threatening to blacken in spots. How long this takes will depend on your oven, your tray and how thick your slices are. Bake in batches if needed.
Makes enough eggplant for 4 eggplant bacon sandwiches. Scale down for use as a topping on soups or salads.