29 January 2010

Daiya Eggplant Parmigiana

This recipe is a vague offshoot of a Mario Batali recipe. In that recipe, he bakes the eggplant first before assembling the parmigiana, thus eliminating the frying step. I personally find eggplant parmigiana with fried eggplant to be far too greasy and this technique eliminates the problem.

This is a fairly simple recipe and shows the excellence of Daiya cheese to real advantage. This would also work fine with Teese vegan mozz, but I think the Daiya is as close to real mozzarella as you could get here.

The red wine in the sauce is optional, but recommended. I used a California zinfandel in this dish and it was excellent. Any dry red wine that isn't heavily oaked should work fine.

A salad goes very well with this dish. I had an organic herb salad with Amy's Tuscan salad dressing. Any of the Amy's vegan dressings would be fine, but the sharpness of their Tuscan is especially nice with this. Eggplant parmigiana has a very rich mouth feel and the vinaigrette cuts that nicely.

Daiya Eggplant Parmigiana

2 medium eggplant
ground coriander
olive oil

1 small onion diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano chile, minced, optional
1/2 t marjoram, dried
1/2t thyme, dried
1 t raw sugar
3 c vegetable juice (low sodium)
1/2 c red wine (optional)
1 t salt
1/2 c panko bread crumbs
1 c Daiya 'mozzarella' cheese
2 T vegan parmesan cheese
1 Tbs cornstarch
3 Tbs water

Preheat oven to 450F.

While oven is heating, wash and slice eggplant into 1 inch slices. If you prefer it peeled, peel before slicing.

Lay eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet and lightly sprinkle with salt, pepper, and ground coriander seed.

Drizzle very lightly with olive oil.

Bake eggplant for about 10 minutes

While eggplant is baking, sweat onion and garlic and chile, if using, in a 2-3 qt saucepan until translucent.

Add marjoram and thyme and stir.

Add juice and red wine, if using, and bring to a low boil.

Boil juice until it is reduced by 1/3 to 1/2 of its volume, reduce to simmer.

Mix cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl.

Add to the juice and stir until juice mixture starts to thicken, maybe 30 seconds, then remove from the heat and set aside.

Remove eggplant from oven and reduce heat to 350F.

Put 1/2 the eggplant into a layer into an 8x11 pan.

Sprinkle the layer with 1/2 the Daiya cheese, half the vegan parmesan cheese and several ladles of sauce.

Make a second layer and repeat. it is not necessary to use all the sauce. Use as much as you like, but it is excellent with bread.

On top, sprinkle the panko bread crumbs. Optionally, lightly drizzle some olive oil over the top.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes until sauce is bubbling and the top is turning golden and crunchy.

Serve with a salad and plenty of good bread to sop up the sauce.

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