VEGAN EGGPLANT PARMESAN
Total Time: About 1 hour | Serves: 4-6
Vegan eggplant parmesan dredged in gluten-free sourdough breadcrumbs and sprinkled with a cashew-based parmesan is a wonderfully hearty meatless meal that appetites of all types will love.
For the eggplant:
3 small Italian eggplants, sliced lengthwise, about ¼” thick
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup flaxseed meal
2 cups water
1 recipe Bread SRSLY breadcrumbs, finely ground
1 jar marinara sauce
Fresh basil for garnish
For the vegan parmesan:
10 brazil nuts
1 clove garlic
Pinch of salt
Optional: Black pepper, parsley, lemon zest, and/or basil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
Lay eggplant slices flat on a cutting board or parchment-lined sheet pan. Sprinkle ½ the salt on the eggplant. Let rest for 3 minutes. Moisture will start to bead up on the cut surface of the eggplant. Blot each slice with a paper towel, flip, and repeat with the rest of the salt on the other side. Let sit for another 3 minutes, and blot again. Transfer to your prepared sheet pants. Use ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to coat each side of each slice. Olive oil will soak in, so move quickly, using your hands to spread the olive oil as you pour. Bake for 35 minutes, or until middles are fully cooked.
Meanwhile, prepare your vegan parmesan by coarsely chopping the brazil nuts and garlic. Then add all ingredients to a clean coffee grinder and process until it resembles finely grated parmesan. This can be made a few days in advance and kept refrigerated.
For your breadcrumb station, fill 2 plates each with about ½ cup of breadcrumbs. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine flaxseed meal, water, and the remaining ¼ c olive oil. Let sit at least 5 minutes, then stir before using. Dip a slice of eggplant into the first plate of breadcrumbs to coat each side. You should get a thin layer of breadcrumbs here. Then dip each side into the flax mixture, wiping off excess flax meal, and dip immediately into your second plate of breadcrumbs. We found that dipping one side while sprinkling more breadcrumbs over the top of the slice worked best. Transfer your breaded slice back to the sheet pan, and repeat with all of the slices. Add fresh breadcrumbs to each plate as needed, and remove any clumps of damp breadcrumbs from the second plate.
Increase your oven temperature to 375. Bake for 20 minutes or until slices are crisp to the touch.
For a crispier dish, heat marinara in a small saucepan, spread a little sauce on a plate, top with a slice of eggplant, sprinkle liberally with vegan parmesan, add more sauce and repeat to desired stack height. Top with fresh basil if desired. Serve immediately.
For a saucier dish, spread marinara over the bottom of a pyrex baking dish. Layer with eggplant and repeat until all the eggplant has been used. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes. Serve immediately, sprinkled liberally with vegan parmesan and topped with fresh basil.