My Italian grandmother used to make the best Eggplant Parmesan. She would fry delicate slices of eggplant and bake the layers covered in cheese and sauce. This is not that dish. In fact, she would probably shudder at this quick version. But, that’s okay because it’s really delicious and a perfect quick weeknight meal. Roasting the eggplant prior to adding the sauce eliminates the need to fry it and makes for a much less messy process.
I feel like a need to add a quick word about vegan ‘cheese’…most of it is awful. Sorry, it just is. I think you just need to try a few kinds and see what tastes best to you. I don’t eat it often and only serve it melted. If you eat dairy, it would also be great with regular mozzarella cheese!
I always like to top baked dishes like this with fresh herbs. When I made this I had some fresh oregano on hand. It is also great topped with chopped fresh basil or parsley.
Vegan Eggplant ‘Parmesan’
8 Japanese Eggplant
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups vegan or regular mozzarella
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil or oregano for serving
Slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch thick rounds and top with salt, pepper, oregano, garlic and olive oil, arrange in a single layer in a baking dish or individual heatproof dishes, bake 450 for twenty minutes, remove from the oven and add sauce and cheese and bake for another 20 minutes Raise the heat to broil and bake two additional minutes or until the cheese is bubbly. Allow to cool for about five minutes prior to serving. Top with freshly chopped herbs.