Goodness Stacked – Easy Eggplant Bake

G and I love a good eggplant dish at any meal, any day of the week. I can’t remember a single grocery trip that we spotted, but skipped buying Indian eggplants. If its in the store, its in our shopping cart. We have some favourite eggplant recipes, and eggplant-parmesan is way up the list. There is a restaurant that serves it just the way we like it. But after I happened to know how much calories it packed, I always make it at home. One time, I accidentally (ahem, lazily) made up an easy method, with fantastic results. Now I make this much often.

These stacks are baked in a ramekin and are done in just 20 minutes. Not to mention, they make for an elegant presentation. Or you can bake them in a casserole for family style meal. Just remember to bake longer.

Easy Eggplant Bake
(serves 2 as main course, 4 as side dish)

Ingredients

Large eggplants – 2, sliced into ¼ inch thick rounds
Juice of a lemon
Oil

Parmesan cheese - optional for vegan version

Sauce

Tomato puree – 1 28 oz can
Red onion/shallot – ¼ cup
Garlic – 1 clove, minced
Red pepper flakes – 1 tsp
Fresh herb (thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley or cilantro) – 1-2 tbsp, chopped
Oil – a splash
Salt

Method

Preheat oven at 375F. Heat a large skillet, lightly coat the bottom with oil. Toast eggplant slices in batches, laying them in a single layer on the pan. When you take the slices off the pan, hit with a quick squirt of lemon juice.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a sauce pan, sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add tomato puree, red pepper flakes, salt and ½ cup of water. Boil for 12-15 minutes the sauce comes together. Stir in herbs and take off the heat.

Lightly coat 6 ramekins (or a casserole) with oil. Spoon a tbsp of sauce in the bottom. Divide eggplant slices among the ramekins. If needed, apply a little pressure to fit. Spoon remaining sauce, transfer ramekins onto a baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, flip the stack onto a plate and serve with shredded parmesan cheese, if desired. Boil some whole wheat noodles and serve as a main dish. Or load up your plate with eggplants and a couple of crusty toasts.

For making this a vegan delight, loose the cheese and enjoy with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. The eggplants soak up the tomato juices, and the tomato itself condenses leaving an intense flavor explosion in your mouth. We totally loved it.

This is my entry to Vaishali’s new event It’s A Vegan World. Each month features a world cuisine and this month, its Italian.

36 comments:

Madhumathi said...

Hi,I guess its my first time here.Your pictures are very professional and the recipes are great too.
Never tried this eggplant recipe.Will try for sure.Thanks a lot.And check me out when you are free :)

Nina Timm said...

I made eggplant rolls the other day, but you are right in saying that it is not necessarily a slimmers choice. This recipe is definitely on next weeks menu!!! Lovely photos and lovely site too!!!!

arundati said...

looks fabulous!! will try this soon...

Raaga said...

these look great... I shall try them very soon.

Happy cook said...

They looks so posh and delicious.

Nirmala said...

I am licking the plate (oooh...its the monitor) right away!

Anonymous said...

Yummy recipe in 20 min. Will have to try soon. I'm more interested in your pan or wok - I don't know how do you call them. Any ideas of where to get it?

Priya said...

I've unfortunately never been a fan of eggplant, but I really want to try this recipe, I can feel the flavor explosion going thru it :) Gorgeous pics Sug!

Pavani said...

Oh my God Suganya.. those stacks look soooo cute and delicious.. I'm going to make them soon. Thanks for the recipe.

stephchows said...

What a great idea, I loved how you slimmed down the recipe! And beautiful pictures :)

TasteHongKong said...

You have shown another nice option of preparing eggplants, thanks. Of the Chinese style, we often cook them by deep frying or steaming. May I suggest a Sichuan recipe in my new blog, http://www.tastehongkong.com/recipes/eggplant-in-fish-flavored-sauce, enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Awesome pic!!! I was not sure what to fix for tonight's dinner. You solved my problem in a wonderful way. I am a die-hard eggplant lover. Eggplant parmigiana is my fav as well. Always game for the healthier version of my fav. dish. Thanks Girl!!!

BTW- Tried your stuffed bun with potato,peas and carrot mixture. Awesome!! My friends at work also enjoyed it. They are going to try it with..hamburger meat..ofcourse..:)

Thanks for all the ideas and inspirations...

Sakshi..:)

Nurit - 1 family. friendly.food. said...

Fantastic photos! The recipe sounds lovely. I love eggplants. Got to try it. haven't made eggplants in quite sometime...

Poornima Nair said...

That looks delcious and a great pic too...

Madhu said...

love anything made out of eggplant. Stack looks super delicious..

Superchef said...

as usual, the pics are awesome!! nice idea to bake them in ramekins..makes for individual servings...looks very very delicious..especially for an eggplant lover like me!

Vaishali said...

Suganya, What a delightful and delicious eggplant recipe. Love it, and love the gorgeous colors. Eggplant's my favorite veggie too, and like you, we always buy it when we spot it at the grocery store.
Thanks for sending it to It's A Vegan World.

veggievixen said...

this looks so good! i think eggplant is one of my favorite things ever. it's really easy to make it vegan with "parmesan," or a mixture of sesame seeds and nutritional yeast. yum!

Varsha Vipins said...

A keeper recipe definitely..:)

Ben said...

hmmm yummy! I know what I am having for dinner tonight!

A_and_N said...

I do this too! :) Its so easy! Though I can't take pics like this!

Sandie said...

I really appreciate this slimmed-down version of Eggplant Parmesan---what a happy & fortunate "accident" to have created!

Cynthia said...

You are sooooo tempting me to make this but I just can't get around to eating eggplant this way.

Alisa - Frugal Foodie said...

Beautiful presentation! I love eggplant.

KALVA said...

lovely recipe.. love eggplant

Soma said...

Eggplant is one of our best loved veggies too. Easy breezy lovely recipe. Thanks.. I have the skillet, the eggplants & everything else.

Sabina said...

This looks amazing - I love that it's vegan friendly!!

:)

Lisa said...

I don't eat eggplant very often, but this looks and sounds awesome. So colourful too!

monica said...

Okay. I am going to the store TONIGHT to make this for dinner. It looks exceptional. I LOOOVE eggplant. Your photos are gorgeous.

saranyas said...

It looks so nice.. I am gonna try it immediately! :)

Suganya said...

Thank you all for your kind words. Glad to have you here.

Anon, the skillet is a cast iron one. The best a cook can get :)

Sakshi, Thank you for the feedback. I am glad you and your friends enjoyed the sandwich.

mona said...

Eggplants are somehow one of the least fav veggies, usually disliked by many people. I love eggplant discs-baked/grilled or deep fried. Looks delish!

Giff said...

nice presentation!

Miri said...

Thats such a coincidence, I have the same entry for Vaishali's event - a twist on the usual eggplant parmesan with layers of tofu in between and topped with soy milk based beschamel sauce.
Your version looks absolutely delicious with that amazing tomato red sauce on top! Beautiful pics!

Kevin said...

What a great way to enjoy eggplant!

Echo said...

*sigh* finally, okay, toast eggplant, then 20 minutes...finally i can have lunch... *been looking all day for a baked eggplant thats not breaded*

i have an eggplant, a miniature casserole dish, and a jar of arrabiata sauce in the fridge and been looking for the method to combine them.. thinking about a fourth of a cup on bottom, a fourth of a cup on top... (arrabiata sauce, 60 cal for half a cup, eggplant averages at about 100 kc per squash, slice, toast, layer, bake, NOM!) thanks a ton anna half! finally a filling meal thats not off my diet ^.^

...ooh, that even leaves room to top it off with a round of part skim mozzerella *pauses to concider*....maybe next time, im outta cheese...

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