For a different take on the classic snack, Eileen Beran, from the Everyone Eats Right blog, submitted this "Eggplant Jerky" recipe. Using a food dehydrator or an oven you can make this snack at home.
• 1 large eggplant (about 1 pound)
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
• 1/2 teaspoon paprika
• Regular or applewood-smoked salt
1. Wash eggplant, and then slice it into thin strips. (For ease in snacking, cut long strips in half crosswise.)
2. In large bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, maple syrup and paprika.
3. Place eggplant strips, a few at a time, in oil mixture, making sure to completely coat them. (If you run short of marinade, add a little more oil, and stir it in with your hands.) Allow eggplant to marinate for 2 hours.
4. Dry in oven or food dehydrator. To dry in oven: Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Lay eggplant strips on sheets, close together but not overlapping. Sprinkle on a little salt; you don’t need much. Place in oven on lowest setting for 10 to 12 hours (lowest settings vary, thus drying time will vary), or until dry and fairly crisp, turning strips partway through. Check occasionally, and if any oil pools on the sheets, blot with paper towel.
To dry in food dehydrator: Lay eggplant strips on mesh trays. While you do this, place a tray fitted with solid sheet underneath mesh tray to catch any drips. Strips should be close but not overlapping. Sprinkle on a little salt; not too much. Place trays in dehydrator. Some oil may drip off during dehydrating, so place tray with solid sheet underneath mesh trays holding eggplant strips, and lay a couple paper towels on sheet. Dehydrate at 115 F for 12 to 18 hours, or until dry and fairly crisp.
5. Cool eggplant jerky thoroughly, and then store in airtight containers or plastic bags. Place paper towel under or around strips to absorb any excess oil.
Want more jerky recipes? Read How to Make Jerky for a full array of recipes and an introduction into the world of jerky.