How can you make a vegan, gluten-free eggplant parm? Pretty easily, actually, and it’s damn tasty.
This recipe feeds 4 big eaters or 6 normal humans
2 large eggplants
1 package rice crackers – onion or veggie flavors work nicely
Egg replacer equivalent to 4 eggs
2 packages brown rice pasta (I prefer the penne for this)
Your favorite spaghetti sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
1 quantity cashew creme
Fresh basil leaves
Putting it all together
Cut eggplants to 1/4 inch thickness, on a bit of a diagonal so they look fancy. Arrange one layer in the bottom of a large colander and sprinkle evenly and generously with salt. Repeat with remaining eggplant, salting, until all eggplant is in the colander. Let this sit for at least half an hour, to sweat out any bitterness, then rinse the eggplant and lay the slices out on paper towels to remove all the moisture.
Start cooking your pasta right about now. The rest goes fairly quickly.
Blend the rice crackers fairly fine and place in a shallow bowl. Pour the egg replacer into another wide shallow bowl. Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat, and pour in a half inch of olive oil. When oil is shimmering, dredge the eggplant slices first in the egg replacer, and then coat thickly with the cracker dust. Working in batches, slide coated eggplant into hot oil and fry until golden brown on both sides, turning once. Drain on paper towels.
When you plate this, be careful not to put the sauces over the eggplant slices, as they will get mushy. Put down the penne first, then some of your fave pasta sauce, then a tablespoon or so of the cashew creme, then lean two or three eggplant slices against the side and garnish with a sprig of basil.