One evening we were having friends over for dinner and I actually wanted to make my delicious eggplant tempeh gnocchi recipe, but I couldn’t find any vegan gnocchi (and didn’t feel like making them myself) whereas I had all the other ingredients. After some quick searching online I improvised and came up with a parmigiana alla melanzana/ lasagne combo. It was relatively quick.
Ingredients (6 servings)
- 1 block of firm tofu (400 g)
- 2 large or 4 small eggplants
- 400 g spinach (frozen)
- 400 ml tomato sauce
- 200 ml soy (or other plant based) cream
- Vegan mozzarella (I used “Mozzarisella”)
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- Handful of fresh basil
- 2-3 tsp. asafetida
- 1-2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1-2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
- Unscented coconut oil (or olive oil)
- Wash then cut the eggplant in slices (lenghtwise) of about 1 cm thick.
- Generously sprinkle salt on each layer and leave in a strainer (with a plate underneath) to ‘sweat’ for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Drain the tofu (using plates method OR squeeze using your hands in the sink).
- Press the tofu into tiny bits (using a kitchen machine OR a potato masher).
- Season the tofu with the spices and mix well, add some olive oil so the spices absorb nicely (don’t use the nutritional yeast yet).
- Heat some coconut oil and stir fry the tofu until slightly crispy.
- Add the frozen spinach (or fresh if you prefer but then you’ll need a lot more) and leave to simmer until the spinach is done.
- In the meantime, rinse the eggplant, then dry with a clean kitchen towel and slice the flesh a few times diagonally.
- Place the eggplants onto a baking sheet. Brush each slice with olive oil and season with a little bit of salt and pepper, both sides and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, turn them after 10 minutes (or until nicely cooked).
- Add the tomato sauce to the tofu/ eggplant mixture and let it simmer.
- Mix in the cream, nutritional yeast and fresh basil, season with salt & pepper if necessary.
- Slice the mozzarella.
- Take 1 big or 2 medium sized oven plates and place a thin layer of the tomato sauce, add slices of eggplant, repeat until done, ending with a layer of tomato sauce and cover with mozzarella.
- Add foil and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, take away the foil after 15 minutes.
- Serve with simple green seasonal salad (purslane, lettuce, dandelion, …) and a lemon-olive oil dressing.
By now you must be wondering what happened to the tempeh? I seasoned the slices with sesame oil and Tamari & baked them about 15 minutes in the oven and served them with a tahini sauce as an appetizer. The one year old that was visiting with her parents LOVED the tempeh. A vegan in the making 😉
Om shanti -ॐ शान्ति