Eggplant Parmesan (version XVIII)

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1/4 cup safflower oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1-16 ounce can tomato puree
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil, or 1 teaspoon dried
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds eggplant
1 cup bread crumbs
2 cups firm tofu drained and crumbled
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 cup soy parmesan or mozzarella (optional)

Preheat the broiler.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic and cook 2 minutes longer. Add the tomato puree, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Slice the eggplant very thinly. Brush each slice with a little of the remaining oil on both sides, then dip into the bread crumbs. Put the slices on a baking sheet and broil until tender, about 2 minutes, turning once; remove the pan from the oven and set aside.

Turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, combine the tofu, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste, and mix well. Arrange half of the eggplant slices in a lightly oiled baking dish, top with half of the tofu mixture, and spread half of the tomato sauce on the tofu mixture. Repeat the layers. Bake 20 minutes. If using soy cheese, remove the casserole from the oven, sprinkle on the cheese, and bake 5 minutes longer.

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