Wednesday 20 December 2017

Recipe: Eggplant parmigiana

I recently posted about my eggplant glut and asked my Instagram followers for some suggestions to use up the harvest. Someone said eggplant parmigiana and I thought that sounded amazing.

It worked out well, because Mr Fork was craving chicken parmigiana so it was a nicely themed meal for everyone.

It was such an easy dish to make, very flexible and uses simple staple ingredients that I generally have on hand. I grew the eggplants and the basil used in it, I made breadcrumbs from the crust of my sourdough, and I got to include a few sneaky extra vegetables in the sauce. I was so happy with how it turned out, I thought I'd share. I think this would be great for a festive meal, and I know it's going to be fabulous as leftovers for work lunches this week too. Everyone wins!

In my opinion the key to making this dish especially delicious is the tomato sauce. I made mine from a mix of tinned and fresh tomatoes that I cooked up with onion, garlic and other seasonings, let it reduce until it was thick and concentrated, and then added fresh herbs to really jazz it up. You could always use pasata and add your own seasonings as well.

Vegan Eggplant Parmigiana
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  • 5 medium sized eggplants (or maybe 3 large ones)
  • olive oil
  • garlic, minced
  • dried oregano
  • 1 onion, diced
  • tomatoes (I used a 400g tin of chopped tomatoes, and maybe another 400g fresh ones, diced)
  • fresh basil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • nutritional yeast
  • a large handful of breadcrumbs (mine was made from the stale crusts of my sourdough loaves)
  1. Slice the eggplants into rounds, and salt them. Leave that to sit for 10 minutes or so while you get the sauce going.
  2. In a saucepan, add a little olive oil, the garlic and onion, and a shake or two of dried oregano. Fry that up until it gets fragrant and then add the tomato. I also added a little water to mine, but you may not need to do that - you want the sauce to be thick and not too watery. Cover and let it simmer away for 15 minutes or so.
  3. Rinse the eggplant rounds and then fry or grill them. I did them in batches in a fry pan, putting the done ones aside on a plate while I cooked the next lot.
  4. Check on the sauce and season it. It should be reduced, and the tomatoes should be broken down - I added a little salt, pepper and a bit of red wine vinegar. I also stirred in some fresh basil and some baby spinach leave that needed using up. 
  5. Time to assemble! I used a square dish, about 25 x 25 cm. I started with a thin layer of sauce, then a sprinkling of nutritional yeast, then a layer of eggplants. Keep going in that order: sauce, nutritional yeast, eggplant until everything is used up. Finish with a layer of sauce then a sprinkling of nutritional yeast.
  6.  In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs with some dried oregano, salt, pepper and olive oil. I also added a bit of fresh minced garlic, but I know that's not to everyone's tastes. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the top of the dish.
  7. I baked it for about 30 minutes in a 200C fan forced oven until it was all bubbly and golden.

  • This was so good. Served hot from the oven and cold as leftovers for lunch, both ways were delicious. I plated it topped with torn basil on my plate, and little pieces of mozzarella for the kids.
  • If you wanted, you could sub parmesan for the nutritional yeast, but I wanted a vegan version. You could also mix cheese into the breadcrumb layer as well.
  • Next time for more protein and to help absorb a bit of the moisture from the eggplants as they cook, I will add some quinoa into the sauce to help thicken it up a bit. Also, I think sliced mushrooms would be a great sauce addition. 
What will you be eating for Christmas festivities?

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