Why I Love This Recipe
FEATURING: Eggplant, tomatoes, garlic (or garlic scapes) and basil.
A perfectly crispy, savory and healthy eggplant parmesan without cheese that is easy to make and that is adapted from Minimalist Baker: https://minimalistbaker.com/vegan-eggplant-parmesan/#wprm-recipe-container-35765.
It can easily be made gluten-free or non vegan. If serving to kids, I often dice the cooked eggplant before serving it.
OPTIONAL (I always leave it out): You can also add 2 Tbsp vegan parmesan (plus more for serving // OR 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast) to your bread crumb mix if you want. You can also serve with vegan parmesan for people to add to their plate.
Ingredients You'll Need
1 medium eggplant, cut into thin rounds slightly less than 1/2 inch thick
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (or other flour of choice - GF for gluten-free eaters)
1/2 cup unsweetened plain soy milk (or almond milk or milk)
1 tsp cornstarch
1 cup panko bread crumbs (GF for gluten-free eaters)
1 tsp dried oregano (or sub 2 tsp fresh per 1 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp sea salt (or more, to taste)
2 Tbsp olive oil
SAUCE (to save time, you can also use 2 cups of any tomato sauce you like, such as marinara)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3 tomatoes, diced (I keep the peel on but you can take it off)
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
500-700 g of pasta (such as spaghettini or linguini, but any kind will do)
A few basil leaves, chopped (optional)
FOR THE EGGPLANT: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (I use reusable parchment paper).
Prepare your dipping stations by placing soy milk + cornstarch in one bowl; flour in another bowl; and bread crumbs + sea salt + oregano in another bowl.
Once cut into rounds, dip eggplant slices in flour, then soymilk mixture, then breadcrumbs. Arrange on the baking sheet and pop in oven to bake for a total of 20-30 minutes (Once coated, make sure you get the eggplant in the oven as quickly as possible so it doesn’t sit there absorbing any excess moisture).
IMPORTANT STEP: While the eggplant is in the oven, bring a large skillet to medium heat. Once hot, add 2 Tbsp olive oil and pull 3-4 eggplant rounds out of the oven at a time and sauté to give them extra crisp and texture. Cook for ~2 minutes on each side (or browned) and then return to oven to continue crisping. Do this in batches until all rounds are browned.
FOR THE PASTA: Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan and add a bit of oil and add a bit of salt. When water is boiling, add the pasta, reduce heat to medium and cook for 8-12 min (or according to package) until al dente! Once done cooking, drain pasta and cover with a lid or towel to keep warm. Set aside.
FOR THE TOMATO SAUCE: While eggplant is browning in the oven, prepare the tomato sauce. Put a large frying pan on high heat with oil. When oil is hot, reduce heat to medium and add the garlic and fry a few seconds (don't let the garlic brown). Add the tomatoes, salt and oregano and sautée a few minutes (approx. 7-10 min), until tomatoes become soft and can be mashed easily with the back of a spoon.
TO SERVE: Plate pasta, tomato sauce and eggplant slices in a bowl or plate. Leftovers don’t really reheat well (if you do keep them for another day, the eggplant will be better reheated in a frying pan with a bit of oil), so it’s best when fresh.