By: Natalie Wiser-Orozco
@ The Devil Wears Parsley
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Wait Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cast Iron Skillet for frying, Sheet Pan, 9” x 14”Large Casserole Dish
1 Large Eggplant, or 2 small
2 Tablespoons Salt
¼ Cup Ground Flax Meal
¾ Cup Almond Milk
1 Teaspoon Salt
¼ Teaspoon pepper
2 Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
1 Cup All Purpose Flour
½ - 1 Cup Vegetable Oil for Frying
1 Jar Heka Saucery Egyptian Tomato Sauce
1 Cup Vegan Mozzarella Shreds
½ Cup Vegan Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 Cup Roughly Chopped Cilantro
Cut the eggplant into rounds, about ½ inch thick. Generously salt both sides of all rounds, and let sit on a sheet pan for about 30 minutes to an hour.
Once the hour is up, and the eggplants have let out some of their moisture, rinse the excess salt off the eggplant, and pat dry. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix the flax meal, almond milk, salt, and pepper in a medium sized bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes, then mix again. It takes some time for the flax meal to start resembling a more viscous, and sticky egg substitute.
Preheat your cast iron skillet and ½ cup oil over medium high heat. Add more oil if you think it necessary. We want the oil to be high enough to cover half the side of an eggplant round.
Add the flour to a medium sized bowl, and one cup of panko to another bowl - making an assembly line with flour first, then the flax mixture, ending with the panko. Dredge each eggplant piece in flour, then coat with the flax mixture completely. Use a fork at the flax stage to keep fingers clean, then transfer to the panko mixture, gently patting the panko into the flax coating. Transfer to a clean sheet pan while you continue to coat the other eggplant rounds.
Place the breaded eggplants in the hot oil, making sure to not crowd the pan. You will likely have to cook these in batches. Cook each side for about 3-5 minutes, until the coating has become a dark golden brown. When the eggplants are done, add them to a casserole dish, layering them in a domino fashion, so they all fit. Top generously with Heka Egyptian Tomato Sauce, and vegan mozzarella and parmesan cheese shreds. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted, and everything is heated through.
Remove from the oven, and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Garnish with fresh cilangro, and serve with extra tomato sauce and cheese as desired!