Wednesday, August 10, 2005

hey, easy there...

woah, did i sound a bit pissy just then? sorry about that. i'm not really sure where that came from.

i tell you what - just to prove that i'm a nice guy who enjoys seeing graffiti that says "stay posi," here's a recipe for parmesan-style eggplant from the vegan planet cookbook. i'll be out of town when all of our tomatoes and eggplants are ready to be harvested, so you can enjoy this dish courtesy of me while the neighbors enjoy the produce courtesy of my wife and i.

and i quote:


Eggplant Parmesan has always been one of my favorite dishes, so I was determined to make a vegan version that I could enjoy. As long as I was cutting out the cholesterol and fat of the cheese, I decided to make this dish even healthier by baking the eggplant slices rather than breading and frying them, resulting in a decidedly lighter dish than Mom used to make, but delicious nonetheless. Since vegan cheese does not usually melt well, you may prefer to use homemade or storebought gomasio, a sesame seed and sea salt condiment, which adds a great nutty-salty flavor, as well as calcium.

1 large eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 cups vegetarian burger crumbles or 3 frozen veggie burgers, thawed and chopped or crumbled
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves or 1&1/2 teaspoons dried
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano leaves or 1/2 teaspoon dried
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated vegan Parmesan cheese or Gomasio (recipe follows)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place the eggplant on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake until tender, 12 to 15 minutes, turning once. Remove from the oven and set aside. Leave the oven on.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and the garlic, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, burger crumbles, herbs, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.
3. Spoon a layer of the tomato sauce over the bottom of a 2&1/2 -quart baking dish. Top with a layer of eggplant slices and sprinkle with a small amount of the vegan cheese or gomasio. Continue layering until all of the eggplant slices are used. To finish, top with a layer of the sauce and sprinkle with the remaining cheese or gomasio.
4. Bake until hot and bubbly, about 40 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Serves 4"

So, there it is. The gomasio is really key, though it might not seem like it. The author is right, vegan cheese doesn't melt, but we've been over that already. I don't know that I'd call this dish light, but it is about the best use I can think of for tomato sauce and/or eggplants. Enjoy.

Let me know if you'd like to see more recipes here.


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