By special request from the Hubs, I recently made this vegan eggplant parmigiana. You see, Happies, when we’re eating a whole stack of veggies like this (think: eggplant, tomato, onion, mushroom and carrots) we don’t really like mixing anything with it. Especially dairy. We just want to enjoy all the gorgeous nutrients and goodness of nothing but vegetables and a few herbs, nuts and, if you really want added crunch, some corn crumbs, too.
Here’s the dish in question (minus the nuts or crumbs)…
And here’s your shopping list…
3 x large eggplants, sliced into circles, salted and left in colander
3/4 x bottle of red wine
1/4 x cup of balsamic vinegar
10 x tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or 3 large cans)
4 x carrots finely chopped
2 x cups of cooked and soaked beans. I used butter and kidney beans.
3 x brown onions, finely chopped
2 x garlic gloves, finely chopped
6 x flat mushrooms, finely chopped
1 x bunch of fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
1 x twig of thyme
4 x dried bay leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
Nuts or corn crumbs for top
And here’s how I made it…
1. Pop your tomatoes, red wine and bay leaves in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Turn down heat and cook for 3-4 hours with the lid off so that the sauce reduces and gets all thick and rich.
2. Now, wash the salt off your eggplant and cook it off in batches on a griddle pan or simple fry pan. I used a little oil, but you can grill them for an oil-free alternative. While you’re here, set the oven to 180 degrees.
3. Add your onion and mushrooms to a fry pan, along with the thyme and salt and pepper and cook right down. Slowly add the balsamic vinegar until it’s slightly caramelised and coating the onion and mushrooms.
4. Now, prepare your beans by puréeing them with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. I use my trusty hand-held whizzer – it works a treat.
5. Finally, it’s time to assemble. Put a layer of your rich tomato sauce at the bottom of a baking tray. Follow up with eggplant, onion and mushroom mix, basil, carrot and beans. Keep repeating until the tray is full. On the final layer, sprinkle corn crumbs over the top of the mix and put tray in the oven for 45 mins. Once you pull it out, sprinkle some crushed raw almonds for added flavour.
6. Serve with a green salad of mixed leaves, avocado and sprouts and drizzle with balsamic vinegarette. Yum!
1. Try to remove as much moisture from the eggplant as possible by salting and cooking so that your bake isn’t soggy.
2. Don’t be afraid to reduce your sauce to a point of it being really thick. The carrots and moisture from the other elements of the dish will thin it out so it’s lovely and juicy, without being watery.
3. Taste every element individually and make sure they each have enough flavour. You want every layer to sing on its own, but them come together as an choir at the end for perfect balance of flavours.
Liked this? You might also like…
Tell me Happies,
What do you think of this recipe?