WHOLE ROASTED EGGPLANT PARM-EH-ISH
March 1, 2017
Fresh-caught eggplant straight from the garden! Our fresh catch of the day has been gutted, cleaned, crusted in kettle-baked chips and topped with our very own cauliflower buttah sauce then baked for a dish that will blow your mind and taste buds!
Hard to believe this is gluten-free, dairy-free and wicked good! Once again this dish proves that gluten free doesn’t mean it has to suck, cause quite honestly we were under that impression for a little while. Here’s how we got around that one.
- Yield: 2-4 1x
for the cauliflower-cashew buttah base
- 1 small head cauliflower, bottom stem removed, cleaned and dismembered into large pieces
- 1 C raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 1 hour (or overnight), then strained and rinsed
- 4–5 medium garlic cloves
- 1/2 t coarse salt (Jacobsen’s sea salt)
- 2 T rice vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups water
for the eggplant
- 1–2 medium-sized eggplants
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/2 t coarse salt (Jacobsen’s sea salt)
- 1/2 C cauliflower buttah
- 3 C crushed Kettle potato chips (Salt & Cracked Pepper)
- 4 cherry tomatoes, sliced
- 1/4 C fresh basil leaves, washed and lightly packed
To make the cauliflower-cashew buttah base
- In medium-sized sauce pot, add the dismembered cauliflower, cashews, garlic, salt, rice vinegar and bay leaf along with 2 cups of water and cover.
- Heat on medium-high until it reaches a slow boil, then steam for 10-15 minutes until the cauliflower is cooked through out and breaks apart easily. Let it cool, then strain and remove the bay leaf.
- Transfer the mixture to a high-speed blender. Start blending on low speed and, using damper/plunger, mash all the ingredients down to ensure everything gets blended. Add a few splashes of water or non-dairy milk only if absolutely needed (we’re looking to create as thick of a mixture as possible for the buttah so the less liquid the better). Once completely blended and smooth, measure out 1/2 cup of the butter and chill the rest for another use.
- Save the remaining buttah base in a closed container in the fridge for up to a week.
To make the eggplant
- Preheat oven to 375. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
- To prep the eggplant, slice it in half length-wise and score the inside without piercing the skin, with one tablespoon of oil rubbed into each top half. Season with the salt. Spread a thin layer of cauliflower buttah on the open face of each half allowing some to get between the slices.
- On a separate plate, apply potato chip crust to cover the open eggplant flesh. Add a few dollops of cauliflower buttah to the top and place sliced tomatoes along with and bake face side up for 40-45 minutes.
- Remove from heat garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.
Our secret: it’s in the crust! Kettle potato chips are great as a gluten-free bread crumb. Because of the thick and extra crunchy consistency of the chips (we used the salt & black pepper ridged ones), they work great as a crust. All you gotta do is pulse em in a Cuisinart to the consistency small enough to resemble bread crumbs. We’ll buy a few packs of chips at a time, try not to eat em all and blend as much as we can ahead of time and store em to use whenever new ideas needing a crunch pops up. If you don’t care whether it’s gluten free or not, then you can cut the mixture with half panko, bread crumbs, sturdy crackers or sesame seeds.
There are so many options and combinations to expand on! One thing to note: this won’t work with every kind of chip. Keep in mind that the thicker the better and some of them are too flimsy, so we tend to go for the sturdiest.
Let’s talk for a moment about that luscious dollop of buttah you see here. That’s our cauliflower buttah, and it’s basically cauliflower and cashews with garlic and seasonings whipped up wicked smooth! This recipe makes more than you’ll need for this recipe, so you can use the extra to spread on toast, sandwiches or anything else that likes buttah.
We’re also wicked excited that this recipe is in the current issue of Thrive Magazine, on newsstands now! We’re so happy to be included in this awesome publication, alongside other folks we really admire. Thanks to Thrive Magazine for spreading sexy, plant-based goodness around … subscribe here or check out your local newsstand or grocer to get a copy!