Cold weather equals comfort food, right? My recent visit to The Duck Inn reminded me that I really wanted to make a hearty eggplant parma. I tried Corridor Kitchen’s amazing parma at the vego potluck and it’s since been on my ‘to make’ list. A rainy weekend was the perfect excuse to spend an afternoon in the kitchen making this cheesy comfort dish.
It really does make a difference when you use good quality oil. I recently received some Bertolli Olive Oil to try and I used the Extra Light in this dish. This Italian oil is filtered and is best for baking and frying – a great replacement to vegetable oil. If you’re anything like me and not quite sure when to use different oils, you’ll find this guide from Bertolli handy as it explains which oil is best to use and when.
Aside from it being an epic success, two things surprised me about this parma. I’m generally not one for wine flavour in food (I’d much prefer to drink it!) and even though red wine goes into this dish, the sauce isn’t overpowered by wine which is a win. Don’t be freaked out by the amount of garlic – I used 5 really large cloves and thought it would taste super garlicy but it didn’t.
A few tips:
- Originally I was going to use an egg replacer for crumbing but instead I used soy milk and it worked perfectly.
- I used panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) as that gives a really good crunch.
- Don’t be too heavy-handed with the oil when shallow frying so you don’t waste any!
- I grated blocks of cheese instead of using packet cheese that’s already grated – I think it’s much better.
- If you’re feeling like something a bit different, the parma might also work well with zucchini.
- ¾ cup soy milk
- 1 cup flour
- 150g panko
- Olive oil for shallow frying
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- Pinch chilli flakes
- Pinch salt
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 4x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 500g mozzarella, grated
- 150g tasty cheese, grated
- Cut the eggplant lengthways into 1cm slices. Salt the eggplant slices well, layer on a plate and rest for 30 minutes.
- Arrange three bowls - 1 with flour, 1 with soy milk, and 1 with breadcrumbs.
- Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the onions until translucent, then add the salt, chilli flakes and garlic. Cook until all ingredients are done but not brown.
- Add the wine to deglaze the pan and cook a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, give the tomato tins a bit of a rinse and pour the resulting water in too. Let the sauce simmer for 1 hour.
- While the sauce is simmering, rinse the eggplants and pat dry. Heat the oil in a large frying pan to shallow fry the eggplant. Dip each eggplant slice in flour, soy milk, then breadcrumbs and cook in batches in the oil. Brown on both sides and rest on a plate lined with paper towel to drain.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. In a large baking dish, layer the sauce, eggplant slices and cheese until the dish is full or the ingredients are exhausted.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the cheese is brown.
Adapted by Corridor Kitchen