Aubergine Parmigiana

It’s been a wonderful year for tomatoes and aubergines and I have had a bumper crop!  But, to be honest I’d make this dish at anytime of year as the flavours are somehow rich, lively and vibrant yet comforting.   Just what you want in any season.  Layers of soft aubergine, bright tomatoes, zingy fresh basil and unctuous, stringy mozzarella  topped with a crunchy breadcrumb and parmesan topping.  Yum yum pigs bum!  Except there is no meat in this – pig or otherwise!

The first time I made this for Chloe (my goddaughter) was before she was vegan.  She loved it so much that I now regularly make it for her using vegan mozzarella and parmesan both of which are really excellent in this dish.  The brand I use is Violife.  When I make if for myself I use dairy cheese.  If I am making for both Chloe and me then a cocktail stick pushed in to the assembled dish stops any confusion and – in our house – leads to a chorus of “spot the vegan” sung to the cartoon tune of “stop the pigeon”.   I make it in individual dishes but there is nothing to stop you making this in one large dish for a family sharing meal though you’ll need to adjust the cooking time by adding an extra 15 mins.  I usually accompany the dish with either a dressed salad or green beans as a side.

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Spot the Vegan!

 

I’ve been making this a lot recently as my greenhouse is full to bursting of aubergines, tomatoes and basil.   The aubergines I’ve grown are rounded and stripey rather than longer, black Mediterranean ones you get in the supermarkets but cooked but they taste much the same. I grew lots of different types of tomatoes (I used costoluto florentino in the photograph which is a large beefsteak type tomato), but if you haven’t got any ripe full flavoured tomatoes to hand – or it’s the wrong time of year – use passata instead (see photos below showing both options) which works really well..  Writing this recipe I found it difficult to give the exact quantities of ingredients for this as so much depends on the size of the aubergines etc and it’s easier to judge amounts by what looks right.   I’ve given an ingredients list as normal but the photos should also help.

This is any easy dish to make ahead.   It works well if you want to batch make.   Once assembled you can freeze it and cook from frozen allowing an extra 10 mins cooking or take it from the freezer in the morning and allow to defrost and cook as per the recipe time given.  Either way it’s easy to tell if it’s heated all the way through if you insert a knife half way down in the middle of the dish, remove and hold it to your lips to see if it’s warm – in which case it’s done!

I hope you try this dish and it becomes one of your favourites, just as it is one of mine (and Chloe’s). If you get time, let me know what you think.

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Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2-3 aubergines depending on size
  • 100ml olive/rapeseed oil (I like to use ones that are garlic infused)
  • 2 balls of mozzarella or vegan alternative
  • jar of passata or 6-8 large tomatoes
  • large bunch of basil
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • 25g parmesan or vegan alternative
  • salt and pepper
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Layering using dairy mozzarella

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Layering using vegan mozzarella

Method

  1. Slice the aubergines into rounds about the thickness of a pound coin
  2. Drizzle over the olive oil and season well
  3. Roast in oven at 180c  for 30-40 minutes until lightly browned and cooked through
  4. If making in individual dishes put a layer of 3-4 tbsp passata or thickly sliced tomatoes at bottom of dish.  Use 4x more if making in large dish
  5. Top the tomato with a layer of the roasted aubergine slices and some nuggets of your chosen mozzarella interspersed with torn basil leaves
  6. Repeat layers
  7. Top with a further layer of passata or tomatoes before topping with breadcrumbs and a thick grating of the parmesan
  8. Cook in oven (180c) for 20-30 mins until golden and bubbling.

 

2 Comments

  1. This looks so beautiful coming out of the oven!! I’m no surprised Chloe loved it!! And loved the photos of your fresh eggplants and tomatoes! You are such a gardener! Really a delicious post Rosie! Hope you are doing well… xox

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