Crispy Eggplant Parmesan with Dairy-Free Cheese and Tomato Gravy
Chef Alon Shaya
Denver and New Orleans
Chef Alon Shaya is well-known for popularizing Israeli cuisine in the U.S. At Saba, his newest restaurant, he is focusing more on vegetables, whole grains and plant-based cheeses and milks. This recipe features a creamy non-dairy cheese that not only melts well, it makes for a vegetarian dish that is kosher at both dairy- and meat-based meals. For a vegan version, simply eliminate the egg wash.
2 med. eggplants
4 tsp. kosher salt
¼ cup water
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 cups panko breadcrumbs
4 cups vegetable oil
1 lb. dairy-free mozzarella, shredded
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 med. yellow onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
½ cup water
¼ cup black olives
2 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
1 tbsp. capers
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. sugar
12 basil leaves, roughly torn and divided
1. For eggplant: Cut unpeeled eggplant into rounds; sprinkle with 4 teaspoons salt and set aside on paper towels.
2. Whisk eggs with water to make an egg wash. Measure flour and panko into separate shallow bowls.
3. Begin to bread eggplant by first coating it with flour. Shake off excess flour and place eggplant in egg wash. Flip eggplant in egg wash twice and let excess egg drip off back into bowl. For the final step, coat eggplant with panko, covering completely.
4. In deep saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat to 350 F. Fry eggplant in hot oil for 15 minutes, turning over after 8 minutes, until crispy and deep golden color. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.
5. For tomato gravy: Preheat broiler. In medium saucepot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add
onion and garlic; reduce heat to low and slowly cook onions, garlic and pepper flakes for 10 minutes, or until onion is very soft.
6. Add tomatoes and water; bring to a low simmer. Cook 25 minutes or until sauce reduces by roughly one-third in volume.
7. Stir in olives, oregano, capers, salt and sugar. Let simmer 15 minutes longer. Add half the basil leaves to the sauce; set aside to keep warm.
8. In baking dish, spoon half the tomato gravy on bottom. Place fried eggplant slices
On top and ladle remaining gravy over eggplant. Evenly top with cheese. Place the dish under broiler and cook until mozzarella is completely melted. Garnish with remaining fresh basil leaves.
Photograph courtesy of Danone North America