This particular recipe has been a little adventure over some time, as many of my recipes are. I first jotted the idea down mid last year (2020) a day or so before my morning sickness began. Yes, I was manifesting as an aversion to food preparation! After what has possibly been my longest stint away from recipe writing in a long, long time here we are: five months later, in a different year, a different state and different house and after a few more batches and variations to get it down pat. I hope you love this one, I've really enjoyed creating it for you! As usual, I have included some cooks notes at the bottom to answer any extra questions. You can find many more wholefood plant-based recipes in my three recipe books HERE. x Harry
Serves: 2-4 Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 35
CHEESY TAHINI SAUCE (one batch) 1/2 cup plant based milk (I used oat) 1/3 cup nutritional yeast 3 tablespoons hulled tahini 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt) CRUMBED EGGPLANT 2 small to medium eggplants, sliced lengthways 1-2 cm thick 1/2 cup chickpea (or besan) flour 1/2 cup plant-based milk (I used oat) 1 1/2 cups almond meal 1/2 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt) SIMPLE TOMATO SAUCE 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled and finely chopped or crushed 1 cup basil (loosely packed), chopped 1 can diced tomatoes 2 tablespoons coconut aminos TO SERVE Fresh Basil Salad
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius fan-forced. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Combine all of your ingredients for your cheesy sauce in your blender or food processor. Pulse to combine and blend until smooth. Place in the fridge to set while you prepare the rest.
To make the crumb, combine almond meal and salt in a bowl and stir to combine. Spread over a large plate and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine chickpea flour and plant-based milk in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Slice your eggplants 1.5cm thick, lengthways. If you would like thicker eggplant be sure to bake for longer on a lower setting. Dip each section in the chickpea batter, shaking off any excess before coating in the almond meal and salt crumb.
Lay coated eggplants on your baking tray and place in the oven to bake for 25 - 30 minutes or until soft in the middle and slightly golden. Prepare your simple tomato sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, stir to combine and simmer until the sauce begins to thicken.
Remove crummed eggplant from the oven and top with the tomato sauce and a generous drizzle of cheesy tahini sauce. Return to the oven to grill for 3-5 minutes or until they begin to brown slightly. Keep a close eye on them.
Garnish with a few sprigs of the leftover basil and serve with a big green salad.
COOKS NOTES GENERAL: Note - This recipe makes double the pictured amount. Eggplant chips - You could also use this crumbing method to make delicious oil free eggplant chips! Excess basil? - Use up all your basil. If you have bought basil and you have a nice big bunch of it and don't want to waste it you can add more to the sauce and more to garnish! You can never have enough fresh herbs! Extra eggplant? - Eggplants, like all veggies, vary in size quite a lot. If you find have more than you need, Dice and bake. They are delicious added to a side salad! SWAPS: Nut-free - If you would like to avoid nuts you can substitute almond meal for a GF breadcrumb. Oat milk - I used oat milk in both the cheesy sauce and batter for it's mild flavour. You could substitute this for any other mild flavoured plant-based milk you like. i.e. cashew or almond.