Brisket, kugel and challah get a lot of Rosh Hashanah love, but to me, the Jewish New Year will always be the “apples and honey” holiday. This sweet pairing is the first thing most people—both those who celebrate it and those who don’t—think of when they consider the food. It’s certainly a tried-and-true combination, but it’s not the only way to ensure you have a sweet new year. So how about switching it up? This recipe uses shallow-fried crispy eggplant slices instead of apples, and an hour-long soak in milk that prevents the vegetable from getting soggy.
1½ pounds globe eggplants, sliced widthwise into ¼-inch rounds
2 cups milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
1. Place eggplant slices in large bowl. Pour milk over eggplant, making sure all slices are covered. Place small plate on top of eggplant slices to keep them submerged. Allow to soak for 1 hour. Meanwhile, spread flour in shallow plate and line a baking sheet with paper towels.
2. After eggplant is done soaking, add ½ inch of oil to 12-inch skillet and heat over medium-high until oil registers 350 degrees. (Eggplant slices should sizzle when you place them in the oil.)
3. Drain eggplant, and working in small batches of 6 or 7 slices, dredge eggplant in flour. Shake off excess flour, and carefully lay eggplant in oil. Fry until first side is golden brown, about 3 minutes, then flip over using tongs. Fry until second side is golden brown, another 2 minutes, and then transfer to paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain.
4. Immediately sprinkle eggplant slices with salt. Repeat frying process with remaining eggplant, replacing paper towels as they get saturated with oil. When ready to serve, drizzle fritters with honey.