Here's an amazing way to eat eggplant both if you love it or if you don't, as you won't even notice, that's how good this recipe is!
I versioned this Italian recipe into a Vegan one, you can make your own version too by deciding the option that fits you the most, so let's dig in.
For the tomato sauce You can use a pre-made one or as I would recommend, make your own. And if you do so, make extra! You can freeze it so you're gonna cook once and eat twice or even more!
Tip: Double once or even twice the sauce quantities and make extra to freeze!!
Ingredients: (For 2 people)
5 tbp Gluten Free Flour
Homemade Tomato Sauce:
Fresh tomatoes (400g)
Chopped tomatoes (1 can, optional)
Garlic cloves (2-3)
Bell Pepper (optional)
Basil, Oregano and Thyme
Salt & Pepper
Homemade Bechamel: (Cheesy Sauce)
2 tbp Soya butter or oil
2tbp Gluten free flour
1tbp Garlic powder
Salt & Pepper
600ml Soya milk (or any other plant based unsweetened)
Let's get started:
If you're using pre-made sauce skip this first part!
First of all we're gonna peel the tomatoes, and a tip here is to put some water to boil in a pot.
Cut a cross on the bottom of the tomatoes and then put them in the boiling water for about 10 seconds until we see them starting to peel off. Then remove them and put them straight into cold water to stop them from getting soft.
Peel the tomatoes, cut the hard part if there's any and you can remove the seeds if that's something that will annoy you later.
In a pot, put all the onion cut into small pieces and let it cook until it starts softening and becoming more translucent. Then add the garlic and the pepper, and let it cook slowly at a medium-low heat so it gets caramelized, so I would recommend at least 30 minutes, but the longer the better, so patience!
Now it's time to add the tomatoes and chopped tomatoes if you want to add some, the spices, rosemary, thyme and fresh basil leaves and let that boil until the tomatoes get mixed with the onion in a sauce texture and by that, I mean that there's almost no water left. And the sauce is ready, use it like it is or blend it (preferred).
The White Cheesy Sauce:
Add the butter in a pan and when it melts, add the butter and mix together until it creates a paste. Now add all the spices and start adding the milk slowly so it blends in. If it still gets clumpy you can always blend it at the end.
Adjust the amount of milk on the way, depending on how thick it is getting, and finally add the nutritional yeast to the sauce.
Cut the Eggplants into thin slices, (like lasagna pasta layers). Put some salt and let them rest for about 15 minutes, that is gonna help get rid of the bitter taste aubergine has sometimes.
After that time, rinse them just with water and set them aside. Put some gluten free flour on a plate and roll the eggplant in it. No need for egg or any substitutes as with the moist from the water is totally gonna stick.
In a small pot put a good amount of sunflower oil and deep fry the aubergine for 2-4 minutes, and reserve on the side into a kitchen paper so it absorbs the extra oil.
You can use the eggplant without frying it but I think that helps make its flavor more plain and enjoyable for everyone.
Now it is time to assemble it. Start with a tomato layer, then the eggplant, tomato sauce again, white sauce, fresh basil, eggplant, and keep repeating this until you finish the eggplant. (Check the video down below if you have any doubts).
Finish it with a layer of white sauce on top, some extra nutritional yeast and some breadcrumbs if you have any. That is my personal tip and it is totally worth it!!! I make my own gluten free breadcrumbs so that is a plus.
Bake 15-20 minutes at 180º (360F). And it is ready to enjoy!