A comfort zone is a good thing but nothing rarely grow there. Plus, on a really deep down level, it gets kind of boring after awhile. I always thought of myself more open to different types of fruits especially compared to the Orthodox Gentleman’s simple taste palette but eggplant is not one of those fruits for me. The Orthodox Gentleman, however, loves his eggplant.
And of course still pulling a strong enthusiastic courting make-dinner-for-your love game, I’d like to still pull out all of the stops and do something impressively awesome for my love. And I love surprising him with one of his favorite foods to come home to relax to after a hard work day. As I know things will naturally change down the line, I hope that last part never changes.
I was thinking of a roasted eggplant and za’atar pizza. Only I never worked with za’atar or for a food blogger, I don’t even know what it is. And always ordered out my pizza. As much as it would be fun to get lost exploring Whole Foods for za’atar , I fell slight dismay that I wouldn’t be able to execute it exactly as I wanted to and yet I felt intrigued by the Orthodox Gentleman’s idea for Sunday Supper this weekend.
“Eggplant parmigiana,” he replied. Who doesn’t like marinara sauce and cheese? It looks like a pizza or something you want to cozy up to already. But then eggplant. The quirky, purple plump fruit that usually gets a bad rap sounds like a bad joke or something that a very devious vegan in a family full of carnivores would bring to dinner. This quirky little fruit actually pairs quite nicely in between and is a nutrition powerhouse – eggplant is excellent because it contains antioxidants that protect our brain and heart. It’s also a good source of fiber.
And to your surprise, classic eggplant parmigiana can be easily converted to a vegan dish by not breading the eggplant in any egg and using a vegan shredded cheese. Daiya is an old reliable choice. If you need it to be gluten-free, skip the breading altogether.
The outcome from supper was amazing. Supper was amazing. The Orthodox Gentleman offered to make it and it was easy, quick, cheap and phenomenal. I literally wanted seconds or thirds or next time I’m ordering Italian, I just want to make this dish. Or have the Orthodox Gentleman whip it up for me.
1 whole eggplant, sliced
1 cup and 1/2 flour
2 cups cashew milk
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 package of artisan pasta noodles (fusilli was used here)
16 oz of tomato sauce (preferably fresh or your favorite from the jar)
1 tsp cornstarch
1 cup and a 1/2 of daiya cheese (for vegan) or shredded Parmesan cheese (to make it non vegan)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice your eggplant and set aside.
2. Put flour, cashew milk and cornstarch into a bowl and whisk together. (Skip this step if gluten-free.)
3. Heat olive oil in heavy pan and fry eggplant until lightly brown.
4. Place breaded or (if gluten-free) just eggplant on a greased and foil lined baking dish. Layer eggplant with tomato sauce and cheese. Bake until melted and if not using vegan cheese, lightly browned.
5. Salt a pot of water and drizzle in some olive oil and bring to a boil. Boil pasta according to package directions. Drain.
Serve immediately topping eggplant with pasta.