Instagram user madamyauch made this suggestion, and of course I had to do it. Vegan Eggplant Parmesan is one of my favorite Italian dishes, so of course I had to make it! Thank you for your suggestion! The video is 30 minutes long. I try to keep my videos as short as possible, but since there are several steps to make this dish it is longer than usual. I am making my own sauce and breading my own eggplant, so this video is like watching two in one. You can use store-bought sauce if you would like, but making fresh tomato sauce is easy, let me show you how!
Music by Memento Dubstep
Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
The first thing we are going to do is start to prepare the eggplant. Slice the eggplant about ½ inch thick, then place on a pan and salt both sides, set aside.
Now we will prepare the tomatoes. Take a paring knife and put cross sections on the stem side of the tomato. Put the tomatoes in boiling water and boil for 3 minutes or until the skins start to separate from the skin. Strain the tomatoes in a colander and let cool. Do not try to put the tomatoes under running water, we want to try to preserve the flavor of the tomatoes.
Once cool remove the skins of the tomatoes. You may need to use a knife to help. Dice the tomatoes and set aside about half a lb of tomatoes.
Heat up a thick pot and put in the 1/4 cup olive oil. Add the onion and saute until they turn translucent, add the garlic, dried oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, black pepper, salt, and basil and continue to saute for a few minutes more. Next add the large batch of tomatoes and vegetable stock and cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
While that is cooking we will prepare our eggplant breading station. Get the three containers. In the first one put in the 1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour (or other flour of choice) add a couple pinches of sea salt and black pepper. The next container put in the 1 cup unsweetened plain vegan milk, 2 tsp cornstarch, 2 tablespoons egg substitute, then mix briskly with a wire whisk to remove all the lumps. In the third container mix in 2 cups panko breadcrumbs, 2 cups regular breadcrumbs, 2 Tbsp vegan parmesan + 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast plus more to top, 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1/2 tsp sea salt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper flakes.
Now we will prepare the eggplants. You can either bake or fry your eggplant, if you are going to bake put the oven on 375F, if you are going to fry get a thick skillet and put in about half an inch of canola or soy oil in the pan, and put in another 1/8th inch olive oil or use a canola/olive oil blend. Heat on med to med high (375F). Since I am the fat vegan chef, I am going to be frying them. Next we will bread the eggplant. This is going to be a messy two handed operation, and you may want tongs and gloves for this as well. First take the eggplant that has been sweating and dab off any excess moisture. You don't want to remove all of it, just any large bubbles of water, next place them in the flour with one hand and lightly coat the eggplant. Next move the eggplant into the milk mixture and coat. Then with your other hand or tongs move them to the bread crumb mixture and coat the eggplant with the breadcrumbs. Next move the eggplant to the cookie sheet. Repeat until all the eggplant is coated.
If you are going to bake the eggplant bake for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through. If you are going to fry you will need another cookie sheet with paper towels on it at the ready. Take a small piece of eggplant and gently put an edge in the oil to see if it is hot enough, adjust the heat accordingly if needed. The oil should start to bubble when the eggplant is placed in the oil. If you have a thermometer should be around 375. Fry the eggplant until they are nice and brown and crispy, flip and repeat. Place the fried eggplant on the paper towel lined sheet to absorb excess oil.
Now that the eggplant is cooked you need to make another decision. Are you going to make a casserole out of this or assemble each serving individually on a plate? I personally think it looks nicer assembled separately. If you are going to make a casserole make the pasta 10 minutes before you serve, if you are going to serve individually start making the pasta now. Just cook the pasta the time according to the directions, make the water as salty as the sea, drain and lightly coat with olive oil.
If you are going to make a casserole see my video tip for making casseroles at http://tfvc.org/casserole.
Bake at 350 for 30 to 45 minutes.
We are going to finish the sauce, this is also where you would want to put your pasta in the water to cook, drain, and oil according to package directions. Add in the reserved diced roma tomatoes in the sauce and cook for 5-10 minutes. Taste for salt/pepper, flavor and adjust as necessary. Next add the grains of paradise and chiffonade basil and mix well. Take the sauce off the heat.
f you are going to be making it per plate first you want to be sure you are using plates that are safe for the oven or you can get a large cookie sheet or pizza sheet if you want. Assembly is easy, just like a casserole you want to start with a bit of sauce on the bottom ⅓ of the plate. Next put on a couple pieces of eggplant, a layer of sauce and then some of the cheese mixture, repeat then top with parmesan. Place in the oven on the broil settings until the cheese is melted. Now carefully remove the plate from the oven and put on the top of another plate, or with a spatula place on a cool plate. Now put a serving of pasta and top with sauce. Garnish with parmesan and fresh basil chiffonade if you would like. If you made a casserole after it comes out of the oven wait 20-30 minutes before cutting into it to let the cheeze set. Serve to your family and eat.