During my college days, my favorite memory of “honkey-tonking” in downtown Nashville included going to Robert’s Western World to listen to cover bands and split a pitcher of beer and a basket of fried pickles with my friends. With the ranch dipping sauce, those fried pickles were the epitome of salty, fatty goodness.
Now that I care more about what I put into my body, I have to turn down the offer to split a basket of fried pickles. I do miss the flavors, though, so I decided to make a more healthful version of this pub snack.
Important note: To reduce the amount of sodium in the pickles, I rinsed them with water and patted them dry with paper towels. They are still fairly high in sodium, so if you have high blood pressure or are on a salt-restricted diet, do not eat pickles. Instead, use this recipe with zucchini spears/slices — also delicious!
I worked hard on the batter recipe because many oven-fried batters consist of corn meal, which is inflammatory. To avoid corn, buttermilk, and eggs, I used almond meal, water, and flax. After a couple of recipe fails, I finally figured out a way to keep the batter on the pickle (and it’s so good, it actually tastes fried!).
Oven Fried Pickles
- 2 T. milled flax
- 1/2 cup water or nondairy milk
- 1/4 cup fine almond meal (I used Bob’s Red Mill, but you can also make your own with a food processor.)
- 1/4 t. sea salt
- Dash of ground black pepper
- 1/2 t. dried parsley
- 1 t. nutritional yeast
- 10 dill sandwich pickles (OR zucchini slices), rinsed and patted with a paper towel (helps batter stick to pickle)
- 1-2 T. tapioca starch, corn starch (if not avoiding corn), or flour
- Combine the flax and water/milk in a small bowl and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle generously with starch/flour. This is key to keeping the batter on the bottom side of the pickle when you flip halfway through cooking.
- Return to the bowl with the flax and add the almond meal, salt, pepper, parsley, and nutritional yeast. Stir well to combine.
- Dredge pickles in batter, leaving a thin layer of batter on each side. You may need to scrape some of the batter off with the edge of a spoon or knife. The thicker the batter, the longer it will need to cook to get crispy. Place battered slices on prepared baking sheet.
- Bake pickles at 425 for 15 minutes, flip (carefully!), then bake for 10-15 more minutes until batter is golden and crispy.
- Serve with avocado ranch dip!
Try not to eat them all yourself (like I did :-/)!