Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Baked Stuffed Eggplant & Cashew Cream



I don't think it's a stretch to say that the Moriarty family are connoisseurs of all things "parm". Eggplant Parm, Chicken Parm - you name it, we love it. Two things which Eggplant Parm is not, however, are vegan and healthy. Dipped in egg, breaded, fried, and smothered in cheese... not what I would call being good to yourself!

After this Baked Stuffed Eggplant with Cashew cream I will never miss Eggplant Parm again! The recipe looks like a lot of steps but it couldn't be easier: throw some stuff into the food processor, make a 5 minute tomato sauce, and throw it into the oven! It's best reheated the next day, but I can never seem to wait that long (unless you count leftovers).

For the cashew cream:
3/4 cup cashews, toasted
1 pound silken tofu
1 teaspoon arrowroot powder (or corn starch)
Juice of half a lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

For the tomato sauce:
3 shallots (or 1 sm onion)
3 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup red wine
2 tablespoons fresh (or 2 teaspoons dried) oregano
1 eggplant
28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper



Make the cashew cream...
1. Toast the cashews in a dry pan until they begin to brown. Careful not to burn!
2. In the food processor, blend the cashews, tofu, arrowroot, lemon, salt, and pepper until smooth.

Make the tomato sauce...
1. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise. Use a pairing knife to cut a 1/2 inch border around the edge of each eggplant half, being careful not to pierce the skin.2. Cut crosshatches within the border (careful not the cut through the skin) and use a spoon to pop out the pieces of eggplant.

3. Slice the shallots and saute in olive oil until they are very soft and translucent. Add the chopped garlic and saute for another few minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic.
4. Add the red wine and cook until most of the wine is absorbed.
5. Add the cubes of eggplant and cook for about 10 minutes, until the eggplant is soft and cooked through.

6. Add the tomatoes, oregano, cinnamon, salt & pepper. Simmer the sauce until it begins to thicken.

Assembly...
1. Preheat the oven to 400 and grab a large baking dish.
2. Drizzle a little olive oil and salt into each of the hollowed-out eggplant halves.
3. Fill each eggplant shell with cashew cream.

4. Put a thin layer of tomato sauce into the bottom of your baking dish so the eggplant doesn't stick as it bakes.
5. Lay the eggplant halves into the baking dish and top/cover with the tomato sauce.
6. Bake the stuffed eggplant for about 40 minutes. It's best the next day, but if you can't wait, allow it to cool a bit before devouring!

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