I had this odd craving for…eggplant. I’m not a huge fan of eggplant- its good but something I don’t really make too often. What got me thinking of eggplant was this memory of a PF Chang’s dish- eggplant and ground chicken. Then I thought of eggplant parm. The former’s dish consisted of eggplant half pureed, half intact. Eggplant Parm, of course is pretty familiar.
I looked up recipes, and found out about this Italian preparation of eggplant, referred to as melanzana. The recipe consisted of the eggplant roasted, pureed, with the addition of onion, garlic, vinegrette, salt and pepper. That sounded great, but I in all honesty, I wanted eggplant parm without the mess of frying and something a bit more healthy.
I’ve been a strong vegetarian kick, so this proved to be very filling.
Eggplant Melanzana Parmesan
1 medium eggplant
1/2 onion chopped coarsely
1 large garlic clove
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup of prepared tomato sauce
1-2 cups baby spinach/spinach
olive oil, salt, and pepper
1. Cut eggplant lengthwise and brush with olive oil, salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 350 and place a pan in the oven to preheat it, while you’re chopping up your vegetables. When pan is warm, place eggplant flesh down. Cover skin with more olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 30-45 minutes until the flesh is completely cooked. You can tell if the skin pulls completely away from the eggplant.
2. Let eggplant cool. When eggplant is cool enough to handle, spoon out flesh and throw away skins. Add eggplant innards, onion, olive oil, sour cream, and 1-2 tsp of olive oil to a food processor. Puree until lumpy and combined.
3. Add eggplant to saucepan and combine with tomato sauce. Throw in some baby spinach and stir until wilted. Serve with pasta, mozzerella cheese, and fresh basil.
I also added some left over portabella mushrooms that I roasted. You can also omit the sour cream if you want a completely vegan dish. The sour cream adds some creaminess, but isn’t necessary.
om nom nom nom!