Sunday, May 19, 2013

modern eggplant parmesan



Eggplant parmesan is  one of those things I love but hardly ever make because it tends to be so heavy. This modernized version is hearty but not greasy as the traditional cheese filled version tends to be.  I wanted the eggplant to be crispy, to avoid using a ton of oil, and to keep it rustic.
I made my own sauce, as an opportunity to incorporate some veggies for the girls, but you can certainly use a jar of your favorite. Steaming the eggplant for a couple of minutes and finishing it in the oven worked beautifully. I did use some oil but not nearly as much as I would have by pan frying.

For the cheese sauce:
1 12 ounce shelf stable firm tofu
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soy sauce

Blend everything together in a cuisinart, scraping down the sides a couple of times to incorporate everything. Set aside, or refrigerate if made earlier in the day.

For the red sauce:
28 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
1 carrot, chopped
big handful of spinach
1 garlic clove
1 tsp agave or honey
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
1 TB tomato paste
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp herb de provence

Blend all the ingredients except for the basil, oregano and herb de provence. Pour into a sauce pan, add those herbs, cover and simmer on low for 30 minutes.

For the eggplant:
1 medium eggplant
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
black pepper
cup or so of almond milk
1 lb of spaghetti or other pasta

The milk goes into one shallow bowl and the dry ingredients, into another.
Slice the eggplant and steam for a couple of minutes in water. Pat dry, dip in the milk and then the bread crumb mixture. Lay on an oiled parchment lined baking sheet. Spritz with a bit more oil and bake at 450 for about 15 minutes, turn over and cook for another 10-15, until they start to turn golden.


While the eggplant is baking cook the pasta and heat the sauce. To plate, I topped the pasta with red sauce, a dollop of the cheese sauce, eggplant slices, and a bit more of the cheese sauce. If need be, microwave the cheese sauce for a minute to warm. So delicious.

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