I must say, I am a little impressed that I remembered the password to the editor for the blog. I am also saddened that it has taken me seven months to post! I have recently moved into a house with my boyfriend Josh, and while it is no longer upstairs from Publix, I am within a half mile of my original apartment and in love with the new place!
One of the perks of co-habituating is that all of the groceries, produce, cooking gadgets, and utensils are all in one kitchen. This makes both of our lives exceedingly easier. In an effort to also cut down on costs, we now can meal plan and buy food accordingly. Win-Win!
Tonight’s recipe was spawned from a particularly lovely eggplant I found at the Farmers Market (miraculously still walking distance). Having made a large vat of tomato sauce over the weekend (we are both half Italian!), it only seemed right to make Eggplant-Parmesan. Ok, Josh had Eggplant-Parmesan, I had Eggplant-Fake-Vegan-Cheese-That-Kinda-Tastes-And-Looks-Similar-To-Parmesan. While the recipe took a while, the end result was worth it.
I used the recipe from Bon Appetit but cut down the portions from four pounds of eggplant to my very large one eggplant. Because of this, I also cut down on the amount of oil, breadcrumbs, and cheese. Oh, and I used my fake cheese. I also already had my homemade sauce. But the concept is pretty much the same.
Isn’t it pretty?
- 6 sprigs of Oregano
- 6 whole cloves of Garlic (peeled)
- 3/4 cup of breadcrumbs (I used Panko and seasoned to taste)
- 2 tbs olive oil + enough to lightly coat the eggplant
- Enough tomato sauce to cover the two cut halves of the eggplant
- Enough mozzarella (or substitute) to cover two cut halves
- Freshly grated parmesan to dust the top of the cut halves
While the oven is preheating to 400, cut the eggplant(s) in half, and remove all but an inch of skin around the diameter of the cut. According to Bon Appetit, this allows for the flavors to meld together while keeping the shape of the eggplant. I have found this to be completely correct!
Next, coat the eggplant in olive oil (lightly coat, do not drench) and season with salt and pepper.
On a tinfoil lined baking sheet, place the eggplant cut side down, surround with the sprigs of Oregano and whole cloves of garlic. Cover the entire baking sheet with more tinfoil and place in the oven for 40 minutes. The house has a gas over, and it is rather intense. Mine was probably done at 35 minutes (I did not check until 40), the original recipe states that you can go as long as 45 minutes. The end goal is that the eggplant is really really soft.
Once the proper amount of time has passed, remove from oven, and transfer the eggplant (cut side up this time!), oregano, and garlic into a baking dish. I used two different ones to separate the cheese, but if all household members are of similar diary persuasion, feel free to use a large baking dish instead.
On top of the eggplant, add a generous serving of tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese of choice. Top with breadcrumbs and grate parmesan cheese over the top. Place back in the oven and cook for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown.
Remove and enjoy!
I paired this with sautéed asparagus in butter (another recipe for another time, and yes, vegan butter), and a side salad.
Josh gave this recipe two thumbs up…my vegan dish was also quite stellar!